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The Controlled Bleeding – Can You Smell The Rain Between?

Label: Tone Casualties Format: CD

Can You Smell The Rain Between - sleeve Can You Smell The Rain Between? was accompanied by “Enjoy ?” written on the press leaflet. Was I not meant to enjoy it ? Should I have endured an unpleasant hour or so ? The press release sets out to create an impression of something baleful and malign, which somehow made me think of the first Black Sabbath album. Anyway.

The Controlled Bleeding certainly explore some of the darker corners of sonic nightmares. They create a forbidding territory of dark rumbling bass lines and barely audible whispers on “Red Hands Waiting”. Other sound ingredients add to the impressions of a bleak terrain ; strangled electric guitar, creeping cymbals and a few unidentified objects. But it is never overdone, all elements are balanced to produce a fine weave of shifting atmospheres. There is a similarly restrained feeling to “Poisoner Pt 3”. This time they build an undertow of metallic ripplings, like many small bells muted and dampened then struck with muffled beaters. This slightly edgy current occasional then rises to a brief crescendo. “Poisoner Pt 4” explores darker soundscapes where a welter of metals resounds. Imagine your are in the belly of a gigantic iron piano over which vile flying objects circulate and howl whilst, once again, tiny muffled bells jangle. That might give some impression of what is created here.

A two note bass riff anchors the fractured explorations of “Schist”, a track where it is difficult to say what is making the sounds. It could be metal on guitar strings or piano interior or found objects. There is a sense of freedom, as in `free improvisation’ on some of the tracks and while it may not be their only chosen medium they make a very convincing attempt at creating the textures and tensions associated with some of that music. The atmosphere created on the title track is a more brooding affair with minimal electric piano underpinned by rattling percussion. Other sounds filter in and out of the mix leaving a sense of unease. Nothing much else happens, aurally, but it is still a compelling piece.

Sitting oddly among all this is a take on Eno‘s “Here Come The Warm Jets” which pounds along and while, again, not much happens it’s still great to hear it. One further oddity is the final bonus track “Yak, An Outro”, an obscure cover of The Doors apparently. A baffling barrage of voices, guitar and noises all mixed into a general mayhem. I guess they enjoyed doing it. And in answer to the question – Yes I did enjoy it too, all of it, and I will be coming back for more.

-Paul Donnelly-

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