A Clamor Half Heard

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Nihilist noise makers: that's the best description for Naturaliste's sonic attacks. The collective from Omaha, NE, combined guitar feedbacks, demented turntables, radios, and lo-fi noise to create A Clamor Half Heard -- only if you're deaf. This CD-R release from Public Eyesore culls five tracks taken from three shows in September and October 2001. The lineup changes from one piece to the next. Lonnie Methe, Christopher Fischer, and Charles Lareau form the core. Alternative folksinger Simon Joyner (playing who knows what), Josephine Joyner, and Chris Deden are also regulars. David Downing and Mario Aldefer make guest appearances. Radio transmissions occupy a key role in the group's music, especially in "Static Beauty," where AM static screams alone in the end. The approach evokes a messier Nihilist Spasm Band or something very close to the noise vaudeville of Denis Poposhpop. Sound quality is poor throughout, with the mini-disc and microphone in front of the stage poor. Understandably it doesn't affect the music much, except in "Andy, a Bit Weathered," where better sound would have allowed listeners to scrutinize some interesting toy interplay faintly heard under the roaring guitars. The players don't always sound like they know where they're going, but the first and last pieces have their moments.