School of the Flower
Label: Drag City
WorkNameSort: School of the Flower
There's a dark side to this whole loner-folk revival that's sweeping Joanna Newsom and Animal Collective into our lysergic consciousness, and few people illustrate it as well as Ben Chasny. Doing business as Six Organs of Admittance, Chasny has charted a home-recorded course through the acoustic psychedelia codified years ago by the likes of Ghost. Underneath all that pastoral, plucked prettiness is a deep and heavy wave of droney noise that, in the hands of many current practitioners, gets whittled down to background whispers. Chasny is not a whittler, and on this album's title track a 13-minute centerpiece of slow crescendo he proves it, underscoring a gentle acoustic pattern with slashes of violent feedback and free-form drums. Though the other seven tracks are more succinct and often more gentle, they are all touched with the same trippy darkness. Although this is Chasny's first "professional" recording (i.e., he did it in a "real" studio), its sonics don't differ too terribly much from his previous work, which is testament both to his audio abilities and to his peculiarly organic sound.