(I and Ear Records)
There are people who pick up this instrument referred to as a guitar, and run it through a bunch of expensive equipment, and learn some tricks from magazines and stoner cousins, and these people are the ones that make quite serviceable rock music. There are some folks who treat the instrument as a platform for doing higher mathematics, replicating the complex patterns that occur in nature, and this is fine if you are into that sort of thing. Then there is the rare dude that were you to gaze into their very DNA, you would see the Tablature for All Things - and Ocrilim's Mick Barr is one of those dudes.
Last year's stress-test album of the year Orthrelm's OV pushed this cosmonaut and his well worn SG into the limelight, and he returns this year with a perhaps less frenetic but even more nuanced new step for guitar music. Six lines of overdubbed straight-line guitar (it's been said that this guy does not even use an amp, but plugs directly into the board) create powerful nuanced art-rock that is some of freshest mayhem since the Ruins came on the scene. Anoint's 7 untitled tracks hover the Earth like invading spacecraft, sending off vapor rays decimating puny humanity like on track 2, or retreat to the mothership to concoct even more sinister plans on track 4.
The great thing about this instrumental (even drumless - Hell, I think this might even be effect-pedal less. I have heard rumor that Mick will often eschew even an amp, opting to plug his guitar directly into the recorder and letting his carpal-tunnel inducing mastery and multi-tracking suss out the bliss) album is that Barr creates a full band with his overlain guitar runs, painting an narrative with his melodies that verges on being almost linguistic. And yet, here's the real trick, it manages to avoid being the masturbatory mush that the Joe Satriani's and Bucketheads of the world inflict on their legions. This is intelligent, complex, almost-but-not-quite-prog rock for the post apocalypse, when pesky language and all other window dressings of our paltry humanity have been burned off by our own avarice, and lone guitars are put to service to tell the tale.
Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com