Two New Ones From Nate Hall (U.S. Christmas)
When last we encountered Nate Hall, he was releasing his first (I think?) solo record, A Great River. This was a couple years ago, though, and things on the USX/Hall front have been relatively quiet for what feels like an uncomfortable amount of time. I’ve often wondered — and still wonder — if another full-length from his band would magically appear in my inbox one day. And although that hasn’t been the case yet, I did receive a note from Nate the other day alerting me to some new solo releases. So let’s talk about ’em, shall we?
First up is Electric Vacuum Roar, which features two slabs of blackened guitar drones juxtaposed to sundry affects and distant chants. There’s a sixteen-minute buzzing, swirling meditation followed by eleven-minute of gauzy guitars and nightmarish howls…and a Caustic Resin cover (“People Fall Down”). It screams late night intoxicated haze. It reminds me a lot of living back in New Jersey and blowing out speakers in my father’s basement trying to build epic swaths of feedback layered with samples of old records and infinite looping bass riffs. All while consuming bottles of red wine or smoking my way through a brick of hash. Of course, I sucked at doing that, and Hall is a thousand times more advanced than I, so I’m happy to hear that part of his solo career consists of similar sounding sonic adventures.
The album Fear Of Falling is credited to Nate Hall and Poison Snakes. Tony from USX plays drums, so this one is more in line with Hall’s former recording project than the other solo recordings. The album’s title (and title track) were derived from a quote by poet Francois Villon, “In my own country I am in a far off land / I am strong, but have no voice or power / I win all, yet remain a loser / At break of day I say goodnight / When I lie down, I have a great fear of falling.” Sonically it doesn’t quite capture the spaced-out psychedelic swamp blues bliss of yore, but it’s close enough that I can crank it up and enjoy it immensely. The visceral vocal delivery and lyrical content is right in line with all of Nate’s previous output, whether as part of a band or a solo musician. Much like Electric Vacuum Roar (and A Great River) this one was recorded totally live so there is a rawness and grit to the sound that is distinct from the latter USX records. I like it a lot. Fear of Falling is definitely worth your attention.
Nate Hall – Heat And Sway [MP3]
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