Skullflower – Strange Keys To Untune Gods’ Firmament Album Review

Wow, this is tough review to write, as I’m typically a fan of unabashed mindfuckery. Here, I’m entirely conflicted. On one hand, listening to two straight records of pummeling guitar squall is certain to put you in an abnormal headspace, allowing channel demons psychically if that kind of thing suits your fancy. On the other hand, this is two discs of monolithic guitar noise. No variations whatsoever. No low end to speak of. Two straight fucking albums. Or in other words: completely fucking unnecessary.


Which is a supreme disappointment, as I’d been hearing about Skullflower (aka Matt Bower and guests) for a while now, and this was my introduction. He’s has been around forever and is apparently somewhat of a legend in the world of bleak experimental psychedelia — hence his signing to the legendary Neurot recordings. And that’s where things get really confusing. Guy struggles away in obscurity for decades… then gets a label that’s going to promote his shit, and this is what he drops.

And maybe that’s the problem: classic heavier than thou posturing. Wow man, an entire two-disc set of nothing but guitar noise. That’s sooooo brutal (inflect Nathan Explosion effect). The problem is that in the year 2010, exactly zero creativity or originality goes into making a record like this — just pretentiousness and ego. If this was something novel, I’d give it extra points, but I already have several albums in my collection (that I don’t listen to very often) that sound exactly like this.

To anyone reading that digs this kind of thing and is upset, here’s some advice: go buy a 4-track recorder, a cheap guitar, and a distortion pedal. Turn it up until it starts feeding back wildly. Hit record and scratch the strings without playing any actual notes. Now make another track or two doing the same thing. Congratulations, you just made this album.


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14 years ago

hey reviewer john,
though I respect yr self admitted ignorance re: skullflower, please make some research and listening before using internet space and laying some
absolutely worthless reviews.

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