A junkyard band with a heart of dirt, smoke, and wires; The Curious Mystery blends '60s-style psychedelia with American country-blues and garage experimentalism. Cool night air, slow burning heaviness, impregnation by blackberry, Captain Beefheart, late night crawlers, native fowl, dinner, river blindness; these are some of the things The Curious Mystery bides its time thinking about. A stranger in a new town, Rotting Slowly [KLP206] is the Curious Mystery's first album for K. It was recorded by Calvin Johnson at Dub Narcotic Studio.
The Curious Mystery place an emphasis on dense sonic texture and unorthodox song structures. The band began in 2005 in Seattle where Shana Cleveland, a Midwestern daughter of Blues and Country rock musicians met Nicolas Gonzalez, an experimental instrumentalist from Texas. Today the band features Nicolas on guitar, vocals, and homemade instruments; Shana on vocals, banjo, guitar, and autoharp; as well as Faustine B. Hudson on drums, gong, dinner bell, plastic tube; and Bradford Button on the bass guitar.
Rotting Slowly has a vast implied distance and textural tension, canvassing canyons and turning tight corners. Cleveland and Gonzalez split vocal duties; hers is silky, his familiar and they wind around each other in an organic swirl of skeletal percussion, tangled guitars, Eastern drones and multiple tempos. "Black Sand" is forward-driven, clamoring for release; "Go Forth and Gather" is a mosaic obscura; the instrumental "Nicaragua" creates a thick, uncertain haze; "Strong Swimmers" has a playful springboard guitar-plucking; and "It's Tough" is a diseased-themed doo-wop that fades into a deservedly soothingly distant Morricone porch chant.
released May 19, 2009
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