Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Earth, Stereo, Glasgow, Saturday 9th February 2008

Despite having birthed the camp excesses of Sunn O))), there is a true solemnity and a sense of deliberate restraint to Earth and their music. This seriousness is prevalent more than ever on their most recent albums, 'The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull' and in particular in its 2005 predecessor 'Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method', which heralded the band's reappearance following several years of inactivity. While their unrelenting austerity and unerringly slow pace can sometimes lead to a dry and, dare I say it, somewhat dull listen on record, with the emotion scorched from the music, like listening to the sound of a lonely wind blowing across an empty landscape, there is no danger of this when seeing the band live. The immense gravity may still be there and the pace may still be relentlessly mournful, but somehow it all aches with feeling, still of sadness sure, but within that there's a glimpse of warmth and a glimmer of hope and humanity. Maybe it's the sight of Dylan Carlson and his current 4-strong lineup melding together so perfectly up on stage that gives the Earth live experience the involvement that can be missing from the albums, or maybe it's their utterly immersive live power. The band, currently consisting of Dylan Carlson on guitar, Adrienne Davies on drums, Don McGreevy on bass and Steve Moore on keyboards, drones and trumpet, are so incredibly tight and together and the sound they generate is so massive, with each slow thud of the bass and thunderclap of the drums hitting you physically full on and slowly reverberating away, that it feels impossible to be anything but completely absorbed.

Photos of this gig available here.