Above all else, Zac Nelson is a strikingly talented and inventive drummer. He is also a very busy guy: you may have caught him in the past under his Hexlove guise on Weird Forest or Holy Mountain, jamming with Zach Hill in CHLL PLL, drumming for Prints on Temporary Residence, or melting hearts with his new band Biosexual; not to mention the 12 solo records he has released since 2008 on such labels as Bathetic, Porter, Goldtimers, Field Hymns and Debacle. Ever the chameleon, Zac’s releases have always been about his huge appetite for mixing and mashing genres. While his last high profile release, "Sound Asleep Sound", on Bathetic was two sidelong, 20 minute tone-float droners, "Charbroile" presents the acme of the psychedelic-drum-pop sound he has been developing over the last few years.
The A side, a dizzying slideshow of 10 microsongs, was recorded during a transitional period in Zac’s life. Itching with frustration and an undercurrent of anger, and bubbling over with manic effusive energy, the songs tend to start with a distinctive drum pattern. Zac then piles on layers of squiggling synth lines, heavy bass tracks, and multi-tracked layers of his distinctive vocals. Songs fly by in starts and stops with a few beautiful detours, most notably the gorgeous harmonies of “Polish XTC.” Across the entire album Zac is joined by some very talented friends, including Jocelyn Noir of Biosexual on vocals throughout, and “Be Wilder/Edge Strut”, featuring a world-beating performance from renown guitarist Ava Mendoza.
A bit looser than the flip side, the B side is one man’s version of a psychedelic rave up. Even more layering is on display here, with the depth of sound inviting you to fall deeper and deeper into the maelstrom. If the A side is all outward energy and frustration, then the B side is the inward facing struggle. A 20 minute suite “Texas Cedarwood (beauty hype suite 1)” plays like the proceeding 10 tracks broken down to their component parts and stacked up in new shapes and configurations.
Mastered by Scott Colburn (Sun City Girls, Animal Collective)
LP edition is on 150 gram clear vinyl.
also available at Experimedia, Wall of Sound in Seattle and your preferred digital services.