Peeesseye 2008 Tour CDR (Teton Trout)

[Evolving Ear; 2008]

Styles: psychedelic, late night HAM radio transmissions
Others: Talibam!, Family Battle Snake, 6majik9

Peeesseye (an evolved and cleverly phoneticized version of the band's earlier name psi), for all their nominal mercurialness, have been one of the most consistently challenging and bewitching acts in all of recent experimental music. All of the band's releases carry the arcane force of some intergalactic dispatch blazing through our bedroom windows late at night just long enough to wake us in terror and hold us captive for some indefinite amount of time, before departing and leaving us wondering if it was all just a dream. This latest release, recorded live at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia, fails to break the mold of continuously breaking the mold, which is just fine.

The disc contains a single 40-ish minute track that showed up on my iTunes in Chinese characters (typical), but which I gather is entitled “Teton Trout.” The song opens with a series of primal grunting and screeching that sounds scarily close to a bizarre alien birth sans anesthesia, and once the beast is free of the womb, run wild it does. All we can do is cling desperately onto its fur and hope not to fall off. An oscillating, pulsating journey of a song, we are taken from the aforementioned birthing pains and ushered through a claustrophobic, mile-long iron lung. Creaking, far-off dripping sounds, clangs, and intermittent alarm-like sounds bear down on us, and drive us deeper down into the soft, palpitating underbelly of the track. I was looking for Freddy Krueger around every corner.

About halfway through, the song begins to eat away at itself, getting lost in its own maze like a game of Snake gone on too long. Layers of feedback and resurgent, yelping vocals egg on a cascade of percussion that hammers away, hoping to force the straining walls of the song to give. Shades of shimmering guitar melodies begin to filter through the cracks. After a final push from these combined forces, everything opens up and the sound flees off over the horizon, leaving us with a few final, unintelligible tribal chants, the lingering feeling of just having been part of something, and the slow drop back to Earth signified by the soft shouts and clapping of a tiny audience. Or maybe we never left in the first place.

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