This new trioâs debut album, The Captainâs Daughter, doesnât move Jackson and her bandmates too far afield from the spacious sound that made her years in SAS so inspired. There are plenty of long drones, feedback and spectral presences lurking in the four tracks here. But even when a song like âFate and Technologyâ slides into a gothic interlude that allows the almost sweet vocals of bassist Haley Westeiner to shine, it is slowly overtaken by swarms of volume and a hailstorm of guitar noise. Westeinerâs singing follows suit, turning into furious black metal growls.
The melding of experimental metal and psych rock mindsets comes across even more powerful on the epic-length title track. The song lets a full three minutes of devolution pass by before finally reconstructing itself into a lumbering golem. And if that werenât enough, the band tacks on a five-minute long coda that centers on Jacksonâs slow supernova of freaked-out guitar tones and some ghostly vocals courtesy of Kris Force of Amber Asylum.
Whatâs especially thrilling to hear on this short album is how well the individual pieces of Eight Bells fit together. Every so often when the trio would play live, something wouldnât connect: the drum beats were a little rushed, the interplay of Jacksonâs wandering leads and Westeinerâs melodic bass playing becoming too dissonant. Here, everything locks in and works towards the simple goal of warping the fragile mind of whoever is listening. Van Ruffelâs drum parts still have an occasionally cluttered feelingâsomething that is only obvious with how much breathing room the band and producer Billy Anderson left in these songsâbut everything else about The Captainâs Daughter feels sleek, substantive, and inspired.
SEE IT: Eight Bells plays Backspace, 115 NW 5th Ave., with the Body and Usnea, on Saturday, March 2. 8 pm. $7. All ages.