SPRINGTIME – ” Will to Power “

Posted: October 6, 2021 in MUSIC
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It’s been bittersweet time watching Tropical Fuck Storm grow out of their blues-guitar roots into a sound that could maybe best be described as a tin hat nebula, progressing while at the same time leaving behind a part of the band on their recordings which proves so vital to their raucous live set. As if to apologize for the continued experimentation on Deep States, Gareth Liddiard almost immediately followed that record up with news of a new collaboration with a pair of avant-garde jazz figureheads who, ironically, seem to keep Liddiard’s out-there ideas in check. “Will to Power” is a hell of a way to kick off the campaign for the trio’s new record, blending a moody guitar familiarly descendent from The Drones with steady piano and percussion that ultimately warps into a TFS-sanctioned whirlwind of guitar and vocals equally out of whack. Can’t wait to hear this song stretched to 15 minutes if and when they tour.

Hello – I love this shit. It’s as monstrously ravishing as it is clumsy in its elegance.

Words run into each other with little regard for one another’s injuries. There are sounds who come out of nothingness to wallop and brutalize their fellow sounds.

This Springtime record is so full of strange wanderings that are broken and piled up on themselves that the heads have no idea where their tails are.

The live recording of Will Oldham’s West Palm Beach is treated with love and respect and would certainly be met with open arms by its author. “Jeanie In A Bottle” and “The Viaduct Love Suicide” are magnificent songs originally penned by Gareth Liddiard’s Irish uncle, Ian Duhig. The latter piece is a true story of a woman in the UK who had an abusive husband and a disabled child. She jumped off a bridge with her son in her arms. The press were saying she was fucked for doing such a thing, so Ian wrote the poem showing she was not. “The Island” is a noisy improvisation that’s wicked and wild with a slinky Hammond organ sneaking its way through the clatter. Irish composer Herbert Hughes wrote the tragic and haunting She Moved Through The Fair which exists in a number of versions and has been recorded by several artists (this one is best). “The Killing Of The Village Idiot is about the Australian Special Forces who went around slaughtering civilians in Afghanistan and recently got investigated and busted for it.

The single most important component in collaborative art is the chemistry between the collaborators. Jim White has long been one of my favourite drummers: He reminds me of no one. His ability to keep perfect time while deviating from convention and tossing tambourines and broken cymbals on his kit is as marvelous to watch as it is to listen to. Gareth Liddiard’s guitar playing feels out of control, but he knows exactly what he’s doing. He throws nuanced accents like darts among the filthy din of distortion. And the ferocity his voice reaches is tremendous. Maestro Chris Abrahams’ playing is in a class by itself, ranging from the charm of Erik Satie to the nastiness of a truck-mounted excavator. These three gentlemen work, play and improvise together in an emotionally volatile universe. You could call it “jazz”, but that word is way too jazzy for what Springtime creates. There is no pompous audacity. No terrible flagrancy. Their music is heartfelt. It’s important.

Springtime is Gareth Liddiard, Jim White and Chris Abrahams

“Will To Power” by Springtime off their self-titled album ‘Springtime’ out on TFS Records & Joyful Noise Recordings.


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