A Gilded Eternity

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There's a pervading din throughout Loop's last record, an unsettling feeling created by their guitars that slightly disturbs the senses in the way that Sonic Youth's guitars endlessly stir on EVOL and Sister. One hates to trot out the post-apocalyptic adjective, but if there are any ten songs that deserve that label, it's the batch strung together here. Deadened toms rattle throughout "Afterglow," while densely lurching guitars prod and peel back alternately between the left and right channels. "The Nail Will Burn" features yet another punishing Loop riff, giving the image of the heads of three longhairs bobbing up and down in unison on-stage. "Breathe into Me" and a remix of "Arc-Lite" also offer caveman subtlety and deeply penetrating repetition. But rather than simply drive a point home again and again hypnotically, there's a little more imagination running through the arrangements, making the record a little less direct than the ones predating it. Also, there's some great experimentation at hand, providing a taster for what Robert Hampson would soon be doing with Main. "Shot with a Diamond" (taking its name from a line in Apocalypse Now) sounds like a pendulum counting down to death. "Blood" features unidentified noises that cycle throughout, offering none of the riffs that typify the bulk of the band's material. Taken as a whole, it's Hawkwind minus the goofiness and Spacemen 3 minus the unnecessary tangents. Hampson broke the band up after this one, and it's easy to see why. He'd taken loud guitars as far as he could, and that experimentalist streak inside of him was obviously dying to be purged. Psychotic hypnotists they were.

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