Pink Reason - Cleaning the Mirror (vinyl only) $25
...Surface listens find Cleaning the Mirror in league with a type of lo-fi aesthetic that lines up with the early 1990s and their impending revival, right down to the reactivated Siltbreeze imprint whose name this album bears. Labels like Shrimper and Road Cone built their lowercase aesthetics on drowsy, hand-produced cassette releases by groups like Bugskull and Refrigerator, two examples in particular that share in the charred, dented-can charms that Pink Reason reproduces. The twice-removed alienation that drove groups like Black Tape for a Blue Girl and Lycia merit reference as well for the replicated crawling crush and apocalyptic melancholy gathering at their stone feet. That these songs are essentially loose blues-based mantras separate Pink Reason from much of the forlorn pack. That de Broux uses three singing voices (one jarring and awkward, on “Dead End,” the record’s most upbeat offering, another a Mick Jagger-esque drawl, and a third a recently-awoken moan that allows itself to sink below the music into mystery and incomprehension) distances itself further. - dustedmagazine.com
Sapat - Mortise and Tenon (lp and cd) $25
Spawned from the formidable Louisville, KY collective known as Black Velvet Fuckere (Valley Of The Ashes, Phantom Family Halo, Kark, etc.), Sapat resides as the centrifugal force in this Midwestern psychedelic madrigal set in the psychosexual backwaters of the mighty Ohio River. For the entirety of the '00 decade, members have kept busy collaborating with and/or massaging the egos of various and sundry avant-pontiffs such as Robert Fripp, Magik Markers, Dead Child (David Pajo's metal band. That's right, David Pajo!) and Eugene Chadbourne -- when not honing the orgone energy of Sapat.
Airy and pristinely recorded in a comfortable mid-fi that’s been heretofore unknown in the annals of the label’s back catalogue, Mortise and Tenon rarely falters. Captured here is a band that understands the limitations inherent in Nth generation psych rehash, and rather than pine for a long-gone zeitgeist, these eight hunker down with a batch of supple tunes that play to admirable strengths and a keen, intuitive knowledge of how to mine a generally tapped mainline in all the right ways. Miles away from the band’s still excellent debut, Sapat’s inaugural full-length shuffles the cards and deals a hand steeped in rich tradition that never once sounds like a haphazard pastiche. -dustedmagazine.com