On the surface, Boston's Eloe Omoe sure sounds like all this modern noise the cool kids keep yapping about. Monster drummer Tim Leanse flails about his kit like a tranced-out dervish, melting classic psych-rock grooves into stuttering, percussive splatter. Meanwhile, bassist Sam Rowell rocks hard. With violent hands wrenching strings, she feeds exploded bass lines through numerous effects, warping feedback, static, and distortion into a howling ogre's endless tirade. The result, documented on Marauders, the duo's full-length debut, could be tagged "free metal" or even "freecore."
But underneath the electric squall and hardcore aggression thrives a devotion to the improvising techniques of classic free jazz. Like Coltrane, Archie Shepp, and Sun-Ra (the band is named after one of Ra's musicians, in fact), Eloe Omoe breathes "fire music," '60s-style. Across these six swinging jams, the duo erects wildly fluid sound patterns -- spontaneous and formless, yet physical. Familiar motifs do emerge, and that's because Leanse and Rowell, an intimate partnership on every level, have cultivated a shared musical language while playing together for over 10 years now -- which is the most old-school thing about this pair. In an age of loose-knit collectives and one-off collaborations, these two cling to one another.
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