Bus Gas – Snake Hymns
In its greatly lamentful breakup, Labradford’s signature desolation rock is more sorely missed now than ever. It’s been almost a decade since Fixed::Content dropped, and although there have been flirtations with a reunion (Anjou, with Mark Nelson and Robert Donne, and last year’s Cloud Room, Glass Room by Pan•American), the sullen voids recorded by the legendary post rock band is as empty as ever. Enter Snake Hymns, the latest outing by Bus Gas, the Omaha-based post-rock act whose doomed, dreadful terrain is making more of this empty space in our collective soul than any one else before. But this isn’t an obsessive follower, the sonics here are wholly sincere and genuinely looming, more than a project haunted by forbears. Opening track “20/20 Vision Quest” is a vast and grotesque plain, delayed loops of sturdy bass melodies that leave a wide-open canvas for the soot-covered movements that play out. “Positive Throckmorton” resembles the demonic and melancholic suites culled by Barge Recordings- and fellow Spring Break Tapes-project the Fun Years, sifting out noirish collages of loose but focused processing. “Greek Lightning” takes a step in a contrasting but comfortable direction, pitting a clean, Felt-ian guitar melody against lilting noise and feedback. Tracks “Awake, Awake, Awake” and “First Scum, First Serve” are proto-post rock, bringing an emotional element of distraught beauty to the wide-angled, aural scenery. It’s a forlorn soundtrack that sits quite nicely as we near the winter climes. Snake Hymns is out today via Spring Break Tapes.