Saturday, September 08, 2007
Anyone who's been reading the 'Nac for awhile knows that both Silkworm and Seam sit squarely in my top ten all-time, so I was inescapably excited to hear that, following Silkworm's sad ride into the sunset, members of both bands would join together to give an outlet to the songs of ex-worms Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen. We should feel fairly fortunate that, given the tragic way in which Silkworm ended, those guys didn't (understandably) pack it in, or at least take a seriously long break. Lucky for us, we get blessed with Bottomless Pit.
In teaming up with both ex-Seam drummer Chris Manfrin and .22 bassist Brian Orchard, the guys have consciously decided to leave the trio configuration behind, becoming a quartet for the first time since Joel Phelps left Silkworm back in '94 (unless you count the frequent addition of keys from Biznono Kadane). While Tim has given up the bass to join Andy on guitar in the Pit, they continue to alternate lead vocals, Silkworm-style, on their soon-to-be-released 8-song debut, "Hammer of the Gods".
And as amped up as I've been for Bottomlees Pit's first official release to arrive, I got a bit more giddy when I heard the details that will make discriminating listeners very happy: The now-available initial release of HoTG comes on, get this, gatefold double 12-inch 45rpm vinyl. Two platters, two cuts on each of the four sides, full color outside and in. And to make your computer happy, it comes with a compact disc of the 8 songs. Can it get any better than that? I think not. My pre-order is already on the way, and you can order yours directly from the band right here.
For the totally turntable-deprived, a jewel-boxed "Hammer of the Gods" compact disc will be available on November 6th, two months after the vinyl. It's the inaugural release from the Comedy Minus One label, and the details and pre-order link reside here.
Behold, the tracklist for both the double vinyl and single disc of HoTG, with an Mp3 link for the leadoff song...
vinyl side 1:Completists have been a tiny bit spoiled for the release, as the band let fly a (now-out-of-print) 4-song tour EP last year that included "The Cardinal Movements", "Dogtag", "Dead Man's Blues", and "Human Out of Me" (which also stream on their own site), and the band has been streaming both "Repossession" and "Leave the Light On" on their MySpace page for a little while (along with the unreleased "Winterwind"). You can also find an Mp3 of HoTG album closer "Sevens Sing" over at songwriter T.W. Walsh's excellent home recording blog, Bounce To Disk, within a new Tim Midgett interview. Why that track? Because it's the only one on the album that was recorded almost entirely at Tim's own home studio.
So, even though I've been listening to most of the record's songs for some time, I still patiently await the moment that I can put the needle on side one track one. And when it's in my hands, I can officially add it to my "tops of the year" list, right where it belongs. With their former band a glorious memory, and a new rhythm section behind them, Tim and Andy have struck a precise balance between trying something new and hanging on to their strengths; the songs are at once totally familiar and completely refreshing. It's hard to describe, but they're somehow crisper, more meticulously crafted than their previous work; more restrained, less all-out rockin', but no less moving. There's an unexpected wealth of beautiful moments found within... it's inspiring stuff, and has me looking forward to where they head next. And here's hoping everything that follows also arrives on slabs of black wax.
Word is that Bottomless Pit will be "touring more extensively in the near future", so look for more than just the four scheduled dates listed on their MySpace page.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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