Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Les Rallizes Denudes - Blind Baby Has Its Mothers Eyes

Blind Baby Has Its Mothers Eyes (aka Flames of Ice)/An Awful Eternity/The Last One

A compilation of three performances from the 1980's version of Les Rallizes Denudes - from three different concerts - consider it a HEAVY introduction to the mind-frame of Mizutani's 80's output.

The sound of 80's Rallizes deserves some note as it isn't so much a drastic shift sonically in terms of the band itself but since technology was advancing at such a rapid rate, there is usually a much clearer and spacious sound to the concerts recorded from this time period. The bass and guitars have wider separation usually and the drums tend to have more range in the mix. 

That being said, there are also some sonic differences in APPROACH to the songs - a denser, slower monolithic tempo tends to pervade the songs - as if Mizutani after 15 years of screech and blast wanted to give a DEEP CUT treatment to the songs - a HEAVIER approach to the songs psychically and physically - more drawn out single notes solos that explore within themselves.

It appears that Mizutani is with a bassist (probably Doronco) and drummer on the first cut while his is joined on the last two songs by a second guitarist.

Blind Baby has Its Mothers Eyes (aka Flames of Ice) leads the cd off in all its monolithic glory - the bass and drums up front as Mizutani spends extra special time with his tremolo and phase shifters on his guitar - a wavelength sonic cyclone of a guitar sound swooshes in as he intones his words to the echo world. The emphasis on this version is definitely to display the HEAVYNESS of the composition - its fundamental inertia. Towards the middle of this very long version, Mizutani's guitars eclipse everything else with the pure sound of his phase-shifter cycling back and forth before the bass and drums climb their way back up to finish the song. An apocalyptic version (think Chrome's Armageddon) of a mainstay in the Rallizes repertoire.

Coming in through the speakers next is the rare An Awful Eternity, a perfect drone vehicle in the Rallizes cannon. The rhythm guitarist plucks the strings to the minor chords as the drummer meditates over the tom toms in purest Mo Tucker style as Mizutani explodes the cold white light of his distortion. Mizutani is at his softest singing style (another characteristic of the 80's) moan speaking occasionally to remind us of the HUMANITY within their electric web. The song aches along in its mix of droning bass and guitars until blissfully drowning in static until its brief coda is complete. A real winner in the Rallizes catalog - the muscular drone ballad. (It really reminds me of a beautiful drawn out and disoriented Terry Riley/John Cale's The Protege off Church Of Anthrax drinking with Fushitsusha's Vertigo from their Withdrawe . . . live set.)

A slightly more uptempo The Last One finishes off the record in washed out DESTRUCTO style - both guitars wailing in feedback into the bassy cavern. The bass on this version is actually drowned out - which is good since the bassist flubs some notes here and there. With its long length, its a pleasant enough version / nothing too much special in this particular version except for being LOUD up front thanks to the double guitar attack.

Overall this is a great introduction to the HEAVY style that hangs over the '80s recordings and is a simpatico compilation - the first two tracks (especially An Awful Eternity) are really good with an above average The Last One. 7/10 - PD

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