Old Time Relijun

2012

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

The consistently jittery, jarring tone of 2012 is both consistent with Old Time Relijun's past releases, and not something that will be everyone's cup of tea, so consciously does it strive for an unsettled groove. Still, OTR have undeniably developed a tighter sound over the years, and a funkier one that provokes comparisons to punk-funkers such as James Chance, complete with wailing, agitated saxophone. Arrington DeDionyso's vocal yelp will likewise sometimes bring to mind David Byrne, albeit with far less pop-friendly, more hysterical delivery and songwriting than Talking Heads ever managed. It's not easy to follow what DeDionyso's going on about as his free-form impressions collide with the clattering musical elements sounding at angles with each other, but they do give off a vague sense of apocalypse. There are, however, some defter shadings here than in the past, whether the jungle-like rhythms of "Reptilians," the buzzing pulse of "Magnetic Electric," some mild dub-like vocal echo, and the creepy swamp-funk of "Her Fires Chill Me." Most surprising of all is the closing instrumental "The Blood and the Milk," whose combination of wobbly, incantational saxophone and funereal organ place it close to avant-garde jazz-gospel (which, in turn, won't fail to incite comparisons to some of Albert Ayler's work). The CD includes an MPEG video of "Cold Water," a song not on the album, filmed live in Italy.

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