Comets On Fire - Field Recordings From The Sun LP
Label: Ba Da Bing
The first thing (the only thing?) you need to know about this Bay Area band is that "electric destruction fuzz guitar" is one of their instruments of choice. Wielded by Ethan Miller, and sometimes also by important Comets associate Ben Chasny of our fave acid-folk act Six Organs of Admittance, their "electric destruction fuzz guitar," with help from the band's fuzz bassist and sweaty drum maniac, puts Comets On Fire squarely into the psychedelic garage punk realm, shoulder to shoulder with the likes of 60's heavies Blue Cheer, and modern-day Japanese distortion fiends High Rise. Your friends from college will understand better if you compare Comets to Monster Magnet – they channel the same sort of MC5-ish ass-kickin' and Hawkwind-like space-outin'. And if Ethan (and Ben's) acid wah guitar leads weren't enough, the Comets take things to a whole 'nother plane of noise with the Echoplex electronic tweakery of Noel Harmonson. His overdriven oscillations multiply the freak-out quotient beyond numerical calculation. And live, his spastic jerking and clapping will occupy your attention visually, at least until the guitarist wrangles his axe into a feedback frenzy jammed up against his amp.
But, there's another side to Comets On Fire, besides the distortion and the garagey riffs. Their loud freak-out elements are only part of an ecstatic musical continuum that also allows for the free jazz / ethnic massed bells and chant of track one, "Beneath The Ice Age." Two songs later, Six Organs guy Ben takes center stage, starting "The Unicorn" off with some improvised acoustic folk. Beautiful. Don't worry, though, 'cause soon enough the electric destruction fuzz guitar is back in action.
Field Recordings From The Sun totally rocks, is totally awesome, and is the excellent follow-up (that we'd been eagerly anticipating) to their self-titled, self-released debut.