Album Premiere/Tape Review: Monsoon’s ‘Now Became Never’

Monsoon

Now Became Never

(Not on Label)

The musical pairing of Revson Gourley-Rice (theremin, pedals, drum machine, guitar) and Gregory Bry (drums) is not a young one: Now Became Never marks their tenth anniversary making music together as Monsoon and at the same time, their first ever project to receive a physical release in the form of the beautiful sapphire cassette you see above. It’s long overdue, but if any Monsoon album is worthy of being the first (and so far, only), it’s this one: Now Became Never is a massive, furious, violent storm of improvised psychedelic noise jazz, filled with thunderous, destructive percussion, crushing waves of pedal effects, and warped, psychotic ramblings.

By the album’s own standards, opener “Gasmik Whrstmeh” seems quite tame in retrospect, though for someone whose never heard Monsoon before, the first rising tides of spiraling pedal sludge that ascend amidst the thick stoner rock will quickly destroy any sense of comfort you may have misguidedly felt. Things get a little more fucked up on the brief Beefhart-esque “Love Seats From HeLL” before spiraling into a full-blown Category 5 hurricane of insanity.

“GriT PoP/SNaggle Tooth Blues” engulfs the listener in a tsunami of noise comprised of harsh distortion, crashing cymbals, and wild, primal drumming. Centerpiece “DID Daddy Die{}B00P LAZY” is utterly horrific, with Revson sounding like a heavily intoxicated escaped asylum patient cackling madly as he flees and slaughters all witnesses he encounters as reality twists around him. On B-side opener “The Thang”, the duo form their take on a laid-back, jazzy lounge number with the drums at a shuffle step: that is, before Revson comes in with pitched up vocals like some sort of demented treasure chest imp.

Now Became Never is ceaselessly mad. Like the Residents, the Magic Band, Comets on Fire, King Tears Bat Trip and Sunn O))) gang-banging each other on angel dust mad. The chances of anything outstripping this in sheer lunacy this year are slim.

Recorded in a single day and fully improvised, Now Became Never is nonetheless the culmination of a decade of creativity, frustration, and most importantly, trust.

And it’s absolutely thrilling.

 

Favorite tracks: “GriT PoP/SNaggle Tooth Blues”, “DID Daddy Die{}B00P LAZY”, “The Thang”

 

Rating: Essential

 

Monsoon’s Now Became Never is available to download free here right now. Tapes are also available to order and ship March 15.

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