One does not simply record Sun Angle. Feeding psychedelic guitars and pan-global rhythms through punk tempos delivered with free-jazz abandon, the bandâa collaboration between three of Portlandâs most restless musiciansâgenerates a kind of lightning in its gale-force live shows not easily bottled in a studio.
Good thing, then, that for its debut album, the group bypassed the studio entirely, recording in a cabin near Mount Hood. Even smarter, it hired Menomenaâs Danny Seimâa guy who knows something about translating inscrutable ideas for the massesâto produce. The result is a record as free and feral as the group is in concert, except now, the cacophony makes sense. On Diamond Junk, singer-guitarist Charlie Salas-Humaraâs effects-damaged needling dives through drummer Papi Fimbresâ electrocuted-octopus flailing rather than blurring into a morass. Once overwhelming, here itâs exhilarating. Seim deserves credit for the albumâs dynamism, but Marius Libmanâs bass plays the most crucial role. In the scrum of amphetamine Afropop riffing and speedball-merengue patterns, Libmanâs tight, circular grooves are an anchorâa weather vane twisting with the storm but never losing its position.
Sun Angle still isnât big on âsongs,â per se, so itâs pointless to pick out individual tracks for highlighting. You have to just stand there and let the full brunt of the hurricane hit you. Itâs worth it.
Want to get blasted by that hurricane in person? We've got TWO pairs of tickets to give away for tonight's show. Just shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with SUN ANGLE in the subject line, and we'll alert the winners after the contest closes today at 3 pm.
And now, just a little taste of what the winners are likely to experience: