Birchville Cat Motel – Seventh Ruined Hex (Important) 2007


My bias towards this band has been comprehensively detailed in this blog. In fact three of their records made my best of list for 2007. All of them were worthy additions and lets face it as a body of work the three I listed were pretty fucking awesome and if you haven’t bought Birds Call home Their Dead yet then there is something wrong with you. The thing that anchored all of those albums was a avant garde distillation of rock music shot through a prism of drone. Transcendence through noise and all of that. So why can’t I get excited about this “proper” release? Both Amazon and Tiny Mix Tapes have this descriptioin on their sites:

A further step in Birchville Cat Motel’s ruminations on time-space distortion, featuring the additional mystikal talents of fellow gravity destroyer Matthew Bower (Hototogisu/Sunroof!). Seventh Ruined Hex presents like a lonesome planet occasionally struck with super-sized fragments of space detritus, but for the most part just haning around, spinning on its axis, and doing fuck-all. Like the deepest love, it is warm yet tenuous, filled with the ever-present potential for loss and brutality. More in line with the estranged love-tangle of the Birchville classic Chi Vampires than the most recent befuddling hyperspace rock-overload of recent albums like Our Love Will Destroy the World and Birds Call Home Their Dead.

This paragraph pretty much nails it. This record does fuck all. Like an anemic set of bagpipes being strangled by a snake, these tracks go no where fast. It was my main criticism of the collaboration with Yellow Swans and when I bought Seventh Ruined Hex I was hoping for more of the fucked up space jams of Astro Catastrophes rather than Chi Vampires re-dux. It’s not all bad though and I suppose it really depends on what you want from your noise/drone experience. This is one for those who like to pick the subtle shifts in the unrelenting assault on their ears. And I am one of those listeners but those little changes that usually send me into noise heaven are a little too subtle on Seventh Ruined Hex. If we take the description on Tiny Mix Tapes as fact then all I can add is that the onesome planet occasionally struck with super-sized fragments of space detritus is not being struck nearly enough and the  pieces of space detritus are beige and on prozac. In fact I found listening to this a bit of a slog. It’s still interesting but all I want is more of Mr Campbell’s inner filthy rock pig.

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