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March 9th, 2011 ROBERT HAM | Album Reviews
 

Album Review: Eternal Tapestry

Beyond The 4th Door (Thrill Jockey)

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[SACRAMENTAL VISIONS] It must be devastating for other bands to hear albums like Beyond the 4th Door. They rehearse their songs into the ground, stressing over every note and beat. Then here comes Eternal Tapestry tossing out ingenious impromptu psychedelic jams at the drop of a blotter tab of acid.

The improvisational mastery of this quintet is a testament to its instrumental acumen and the long stretches of time it took to find the core of its spacious approach. Eternal Tapestry has gone through a variety of lineups since forming in 2005, and its sound has evolved with each of those changes. But one of its most exciting and productive stretches was when the group comprised the core trio of Nick Bindeman, his brother Jed, and Dewey Mahood. And with that paring down came a honing of their attack. Even with the addition of two new members last year—bassist Krag Likins and Ryan Carlile on sax and keyboards—the heart of the band’s sonic explorations is still the wending interplay between Mahood and Nick Bindeman’s guitars and Jed Bindeman’s slow-moving drum beats.

By this point, the new guys have become essential parts of the equation. Likins’ wandering sax lines sound amazing looping around the lost-in-space vocals on the epic “Reflections in a Mirage.” And some low end, no matter how fuzzy, helps ground tracks like “Galactic Derelict” before they get too lost in the ether-frolicking haze.

Since almost all the tracks were edited down from long jam sessions recorded in the band’s home studio, there’s a good chance the groaners and plodding moments have been left on the cutting-room floor. But what Eternal Tapestry has left us is a near-masterpiece of sun-baked, hallucinatory anthems that will turn even the pinkest of brains inside out.


SEE IT: Eternal Tapestry releases Beyond the 4th Door on Friday, March 11, at the Artistery. 8 pm. $7 ($6 with canned food donation). All ages.

 
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