LP Edition of 250, Download included. Joint release with Gandula
The second LP by Mark Cunningham’s current Spanish outfit marks a directional shift from their 2016 debut LP, Deep Red (FTR283). On Darkness the quartet abandons pure instrumentalism, including a few vocal takes by drummer Cândid Coll strewn amidst the album’s various tangles. There is also a much more aggressively rockist focus shown at times. Rumor has always been that this is a firm part of the band’s live trip, but recorded evidence of it has thus far been scarce.
Of course, most of Darkness is in the same great vein as Deep Red. Noirish trumpet drifts across a rotten cityscape, batting down noise guitar rats that pop up from open manhole covers like goddamn Whack-a-Moles. But there are other things going on as well. “Surfing Rueda” sounds like some sort of unholy collaboration between the Raybeats and Sonic Youth. “Stress of Her Regard” plays like Robert Wyatt doing his version of hard rock vocals in front of the Tony Williams Lifetime. “Velvet Love” curls through the air like a smoky reconsideration on Eric Burdon & the Animals soft-psych phase. It’s crazy how fast this record drifts from style to style, although Bood Quartet always touches back to their basic Chet Baker meets Pete Cosey conception.
The whole album is a collection of wild moves, as you might guess from the fact they cop a Stones quote for its title, and even name a track after the Representative from Corwood. I can’t wait to hear what these guys get up to next, but for now we’ve all got plenty to digest. So dig in. -Byron Coley, 2018