Old Time Relijun

Uterus & Fire

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If minimalist punk group Flipper had incorporated the excesses of Pere Ubu, then created a hybrid of the Cramps' Lux Interior and the Make Up' s Ian Svenonius to sing vocals, this Old Time Relijun album would be the result. Vocalist/guitarist Arrington De Dionyso explores the guitar's fretboard in every non-standard method possible, whether it's detuning and retuning during the middle of a song ("Telephone Call"), sounding like an uncontrollable factory machine ("Giant Boat"), or picking the guitar strings near the bridge to create piano-like noises ("Broken Water"). Along with drummer Phil Elvrum and bassist Aaron Hartman, the band destroys any preconceived notions of what rock is supposed to be. They take a metallic, simplistic, and chaotic approach, where instruments sound as if they're melting (the bass at the end of "Johnny Appleseed") or dying (the bass clarinet in "Broken Water"). The group even manages to explore free-form noise ("Hot Oven") that puts the Stooges' "L.A. Blues" to shame. The album would be an all-around success in noise rock if not for a two-and-a-half-minute Jew's harp solo ("Khomuz") and a drawn-out acoustic guitar/vocal ditty ("Office Building"). Fans of no-wave punk, or experimental renegades like Captain Beefheart, should take note of this record.

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