Sly & The Family Drone - Unnecessary Woe - LP (2013)

Labels: self released
Review by: Kunal Nandi

Our bathroom ceiling has this black mould on it. As the weather gets damp and cold, condensation forms and brown drips of water splatter onto the bathtub below. When I listen to Sly’s first bit of vinyl, I’m reminded that I need to sort that ceiling out, because this record positively reeks of decay.

One of the most surprisingly great sets I saw this year was this motley crue on a wet Sunday night, busting out some unusually rocking brain-scrape in a Boredoms-style thanks to two drummers and a horde of knob-twiddlers surrounding them in every available nook, all of it giving way to audience participatory joy. So, how does one capture that energetic one-off, never to be repeated experience on a record? Quite well it transpires.

Ostensibly a noise outfit employing all manner of technological I-don’t-know-whats, there is still a sense of the organic in the burbling murk and mire being created, happy accidents letting shafts of light into the gloom adding variety to what could have been a tough proposition. Things build and gather queasy momentum just like during that gig, drums coming up late in the game to add a rhythmic, tangible base to hold on to as it heads into heady, blissful, drunken chaos.

Weird, broken music for soundtracking those days spent ankle deep in standing water in abandoned basements. This is very much a good thing. I still need to sort that ceiling out.

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