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Arctic Sleep
Mare Vaporum
(self-released)


Take copious amounts of shoegazey guitar noise and slow it way down and thicken it up a bit with too much distortion and churn it around and you'll come up with something akin to Arctic Sleep. Drawing from the noise-ethos of bands like Hum and mixing in a bit of the otherworldly edginess of early Swans' records, this two-piece from Chicago makes music that is more of a feeling than a melody. At correct volumes (which would be really, really LOUD) Mare Vaporum is a semi-short collection of wall of noise slowness that throws back to the glory of early post-rock beauty like Codeine. The songs are thick with guitar and slow… ever too slow... drumming that hides within themselves some totally unintelligible lyrics. The few lyrics that slip through the haze of guitar are a bit too literate for their own good… much like reading a Susan Frances record review. The words are clever and more erudite than most folks would allow, but they just don't mean anything to me without the proper context.

I suppose there is nothing to not like about Arctic Sleep. The music is heavy and slow, grinding its way through a murky field of psychodelics without really making any progress. Mostly, this music is for playing loud. Really fucking loud. These songs - or pieces, as I am more willing to call them - draw from the slow-core reality of bands like Low, but substitute raw power for the beauty that is such a huge part of those other bands. It is nice to hear some 50 bpm drumming again, though. I miss Codeine so much.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. Over The Antifreeze Rainbow
2. We've Got A Bleeder
3. Arden's Countryside
4. Startropins
5. Splitsville


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Mike Doughty



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