Guest Post: Phil Jarvis reviews Unnecessary Woe by Sly and the Family Drone

Family Drone

Sly have made a Prog album. A fucking trippy, mysterious, terrifying, dark and brooding beast of an album. Anyone can make noise. It takes a lot of reflection, heartbreak, stolen whisky slogs, squatting and bloodshed to actually evolve your sound whilst keeping the spirit of your act. And Sly, man, if you’ve seen them live, you know these crazy bastards know how to create the tension then release all the energy in the room into something euphoric and insane. They’ve captured it on record beautifully. It’s rich, stuff happening all over the place. So much going on. Waves of drones, drums build up, drums go ape, noise, YES. N.o.i.s. e. Chants. Screams. It’s what Industrial music should sound like before that genre got hijacked by Goths and cunts. In places, it lets you imagine if Autechre weren’t just sat behind laptops, and actually had a band. This is the closest I can describe it. It’s unique. Krautrock being dragged into the 21st century and drained of all the hippy shite. Yeah! Full on Tangerine Dream and Stockhausen vibes. And done with no strings in sight! That, comrade, is impressive. Salute….

Track one “Handed Cack” sets the uncompromising and claustrophobic scene for what is to come. It feels like how your head and ears feel like just after you’ve seen them live. Warm bloodied ears, with the threatening hum of tinnitus. Vocals being deformed in to the mix, chimes tingling high notes creating an eerie cascade.
Track one slow drips into Track two “Grey Meat”. The dying radar alarm sounds warn you the tempo is about to change. The tribal drumming builds up, with noise coming and going. Sampler stabs. Building and building until the whole thing kicks off for a riot. And then back to the alarm.

Track three, “A man that could look no way but downwards, with a muck-rake in his hand”, goes for a Musique Concrete approach to start off with, and then rips its mask off to reveal again the howls and mania heard in “Grey Meat” before then dropping some epic sub beats that pave the way for some fine cosmic nodding.

Maaaaatttteeeeeeee……for real.

Get this on vinyl, bandcamp; play loud, in a room. And give it the respect it deserves!

Her zu.

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