David Yow

Tonight You Look Like a Spider

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Originally conceived in 1998, with work begun on recordings that year, Tonight You Look Like a Spider, the first solo album from Jesus Lizard vocalist and general madman David Yow, completely upturns any expectations that could have formed in the more than 15 years it took to gestate. A far cry from Yow's antagonistic mutant muttering in the Jesus Lizard, in fact lacking vocals on even the subhuman/anti-music level Yow has come to be known for mastering, the 11 tracks here are mostly instrumental, based not on churning rhythms or drunken fury but abstract, almost 20th century composer avant-garde elements. Close at times to the same controlled dementia of later Scott Walker albums, the various pieces here incorporate digital noise, corny MIDI keyboard tones, found sound samples, and occasionally more musical elements such as noodling Spanish guitar and sputtery, rhythmless drums. Stable song structures appear briefly, only to sink back into obtuse nonsense, as with the one-minute-long micro-riff and drum thud of "Bleth My Thoul" and the two-minute noise jazz skronk of the title track. Though often unlistenable, there's still something to the audacity and fearlessness of character in these sound collages and drawn-out home-studio experiments. Yow even embraces the age-old cliché about avant-garde music sounding like animals being tortured by at times dropping in recordings of a cat being squeezed to the point of making agitated sounds. One can only hope no animals were harmed during the making of Tonight You Look Like a Spider, but the effects on the human psyche of prolonged exposure to sounds this disjointed, harsh, and blissfully stupid might be a consideration as well.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
blue highlight denotes track pick