Thursday, July 29, 2010

More Out the Robedoor

Rancor Keeper
Sure am missing Lala and the Robedoor/Pocahaunted collaborative-split, Hunted Gathering (2007), formerly linked here. This is becoming a pattern... old resources being disappeared. But let's finally talk about Robedoor!

"Empty Temple" from Rancor Keeper (2007)

I went with the more thundering opener, "Empty Temple," rather than the more atmospheric "Penitent Runes" or the more percussive and noisy "Abyss Whisperer." I will however make a two-parter for the epic closer, "Wendigo Psychosis." (I wish my LP had the staff-wielding Mind Flayer cover.)

This Pitchfork review struck a chord with me. I didn't realize there was so much Robedoor from before I showed up - but there is. I think I heard my first stuff soon after sampling, and dismissing, Sunn O))) - or maybe Earth. I probably lumped them together, because they are also drone. But to me (now), Robedoor can be variously psychedelic, haunting, scuzzy and ecstatic. Whereas Sunn O))) mostly evokes a lumbering boredom, and Earth a dry tedium. I keep saying I will revisit these bands and reevaluate my opinions, but I don't really wanna. And the swing (towards songs/doom) mentioned in that review is what's kept me from picking up either Raiders (2009) or Burners (2010) already. But I will.

"Dragon Fang Burnout" from Pagan Drugs 7" (2009)

Those have been the two major full-length releases since Rancor Keeper (2007), with an expanded line-up and supposedly more song orientation - plus this 7", which took me some effort to track down. Due to time, space, and that kind of thing, it's just the B-side to the single, so I skipped digitizing my own copy. That's just the .mp3 download audio - sorry. But I like this side better than "Pagan Drugs" anyway, maybe because it's less like a song?

Since Robedoor can be hard to understand, here's the lyric:
_dealer deals his only hand
i paid for more than this
shaky hands hide shaky eyes
i'd die for less than this

low low low low low low low
low low low low low low
i've been gone for far too long
no one dreams the same

O yeah, and here are two FREE earlier albums from net label [tanzprocesz] on!! I just discovered these yesterday, and haven't listended to them yet... Click titles to stream or download.

First up is Totem Hole (2006). Three untitled tracks, 10+ minutes each - so better than an EP.

The History of Rock Music, in Chapter 7. "The Digital Age (2001-2008)," puts the band under "Trippers" - sub-category "Droning psychedelia" - saying, "Los Angeles' hyper-prolific duo Robedoor epitomized the dark-drone movement, that borrowed from both droning psychedelia and doom-metal and produced countless lo-fi recordings..." On the band's own THoRM page, it calls this album "perhaps the most evocative of the batch." Just in case you wondered where Totem Hole fits into The History of Rock Music.

And then there's Greater Heresy (2007), which is a collection of live tracks from June-November 2006. One is a collaborative jam with Haunted Castle, at a Davis house party - another was performed in a "Valencia apartment." Lookin' forward to it!!

Rottenmeats blog said thusly:
"Dark magickal oscillations that work into you, sewing you up in a sinewy whine 'n' wail. Dronal landscapes full of scar tissue and the shadows of the eternally lost, oblivious to any salvation. Listening to Robedoor 'live' leaves me with an overriding urge to bask in that claustrophobic open wound of a sound first hand, but until then this CDr is a mighty fine substitute."

Greater Heresy

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