by The Necks
ReR USA, Denver, CO, 2007
$15.95 US, 11.50 Pounds UK, AU $23 (Australian
Distributors website: http://www.rerusa.com.
Reviewed by Michael R. (Mike) Mosher
Saginaw Valley State University
A reviewer might choose other art forms
and genres to represent the qualities
of various bands music. Some groups
are sculptural, with the density and gravity
of limestone or granite. Some bands are
contemporary ceramics, metallic and variegated
surfaces upon odd archaic forms erupting
in quirky appendages (Im thinking
of Sara Clarks spiky ceramic works
at Space Studios, Midland MI in 2007).
Some are certainly abstract expressionist
paintings, passionate brushstrokes manifesting
assertive energy. The improvisational
trio the Necks are fibre art, setting
up their loom and weaving, tying musical
knots from loose strands, brushing the
surface, hanging their riffs from the
ceiling for display.
Townsville was recorded at the Riverway
Arts Center, Thuringowa, Australia, on
February 15, 2007. Enter a floodplain
of arpeggio-rich Keith Jarrett piano,
the light tapping of a ride cymbal, sparkles
of Lloyd Swantons bass, all spinning
yarn around only two chords, if that.
Then fluttering fingers on bass strings
which soon sound bowed like a cello. Townsville
is quiet and restrained, riffs limited
to instrumental ululations, insistent
in its seriality to the point of autism.
Chris Abrahams piano steps gingerly
like a deer or inquisitive virgin, over
a forest floor of balilaika strumming,
then a stream of Debussy ripples on the
keys. The finale feels anticipatory, and
ends on a quizzical note.
Elegant and comfortable minimalism is
the fabric that the Necks weave. A band
whose music is this loosely woven while
artfully well-crafted might change its
name to Warp and Woof.