Sightings – City Of Straw Album Review

Ahhh, and here’s bizarro experimental music done right. Semi-popular indie music just keeps getting weirder and weirder, and I for one couldn’t be more proud or excited with humanity. This band has been around for the better part of the decade, cutting their teeth in the NYC avant-garde scene and apparently making some powerful friends in the process — like fellow Brooklynite psych kings Oneida, who signed them to their new and predictably awesome Brah imprint.


This disc was recorded in the Oneida’s new studio, and whereas I went in expecting high strangeness, what I got was even more delicious and discombobulating. Kind of like a combination of Wolf Eyes’ harsh disorientation and potent Excepter level art drone, but with more instruments or something to that effect. If there’s one thing I always call bullshit on in experimental circles, it’s boringness, and fortunately, while discordant and difficult might be adjectives you could use to describe City Of Straw, boring wouldn’t even begin to apply.

Listen to “Tar And Pine”DOWNLOAD MP3“>

Some of these tracks seem to have been concocted purely as an experiment in novelty. Here’s how I imagine the three members of the band compose a track:

“Hey, this is the most bizarre drum loop I’ve ever stumbled upon by accident. Let’s write a song around it.”

“Cool, that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, so the guitars would go like skreeeeeee-kerrrrrrr-galong-werp-werp then.”

“Totally, and the bass would go like blerm, blermity-blerm and then we’d throw in some tape loops like: wuuuuuung……wuuuuuung……wuuuung, in the background.”

“Sweet, now I mumble incoherently on top of that like I have Tourette’s, and it’s good to go!”

Bam! Cut it to disc. Fans of things like discernable vocals and traditional song structures, steer clear. Fans of chaos, rejoice inwardly.


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