Here we have the age-old argument between myth and reality. In some circumstances, you can live the myth, make it your reality, and go on about your day as if nothing had happened. This sort of myth-making occurs with a nagging frequency throughout all walks of life. You can do something to help a person in need, or you can choose to walk away and leave them to their life and you to yours. You can go to a rock concert and see some band touting the phrase “psychedelic” and it’s some lame bunch of business hippies, hard at work shaking tambourines and dripping with the sweat of dishonesty, trying to blow your mind with a flange pedal and three really edgy chords you’ve heard somewhere else. Or you can straight up go home, slap on this GR album A Reverse Age, and have your eardrums and retinas scorched with the synesthesia of a blinding reality, the grain of truth in a vat of lies, the square peg.
Truth comes today from France’s Gregory Raimo, once again taking up the mantle of the performance moniker, GR. Raimo has been shredding with ingenious ferocity for a number of years now, both alone and as guitarist/vocalist for Gunslingers, a power trio fortified by his relentless barrage of guitar noise and rhythmic imperative (check their 2008 LP No More Invention if you’re interested in having the skin flayed off your back this week). A Reverse Age is Raimo’s third and most intense solo album, following a collaborative EP with Michael Yonkers. Those of you in the know will hear Yonkers’ late ‘60s period influence, whether it be myth or reality (only the artist is telling), as you might also find the strange, hissing atmosphere of Alien Soundtracks-era Chrome or the psychic limbering-up of The Magic Band evident in GR’s music.
Real, productive damage comes from within, however, and that’s where A Reverse Age performs its miracles. It figures that you would need to go back 30 to 40 years in the history of underground or fringe music to find any sort of precedent to the eight songs of A Reverse Age. Its restless nature highlights Raimo’s frantic compositional structures and explosive playing across guitar, bass and drums alike, the product of one guy with real vision and the skills to pull off a work of virtuosic hostility such as this one. Riffs sizzle and burn up, pushed through effects that somehow cheapen lesser works yet bolster this one. Things you know – eldritch forest folk, roadhouse blues, aggressive jazz-style drumming – are distended near to the point where they become part of GR’s own musical syllabus, grounded by GR’s street-corner vocal hustle, sounding like Armand Schaubroeck rapping into a CB radio in a stolen car, out joyriding and knocking off side view mirrors. Every last moment on A Reverse Age was engineered to do damage, and it does so in the impossible confines of reality, an assaultive and merciless run through the uncleared brush, screaming and bleeding with contact from nature. This is music that truly does not lets up until the record spins to a close, designed by and for travelers who subscribe to the higher mind, and know the promise that, properly tended, such an organ can reveal. This is the reality of the psychedelic experience, folded up and fallen out of a dog-eared copy of TiKHAL, the truth that blots out the sun’s myth-making ways and externally-damaging rays. Check this out with pure intentions, and we’ll see you a few months from now, unshaven and beaming like a god. (mexicansummer)