1/  Drink Your Wine                                                          1.37
  2/  Rise Up Cowboy                                                           4.59
  3/  Mile High - Formaldehyde                                                 3.44
  4/  Mile High - Apple of My Eye                                              3.53
  5/  Son of a Gun                                                             2.31

          Recorded at BC Studio, Brooklyn
          Produced, mixed and engineered by Martin Bisi
martin Bisi: guitars, voice, other sounds; Bill Laswell (4): bass; Brian Viglione (3): drums; Peter Hess (2): sax; Bob D'amico (1,2): drums.

          2009 - Contraphonic (USA), CON 081 (Digital only)


Martin Bisiís indie cred is without question: his resume as a producer includes the Dresden Dolls, Sonic Youth, Live Skull and Black Fortress of Opium, to name just a few of the best. Yet his greatest achievements have been not behind the board but as a songwriter and bandleader. This download-only ep (itís up at itunes and Contraphonicís very easily negotiable site) impressively captures the freewheeling noir intensity, out-of-the-box imagination and counterintuitivity that come out so strongly at his live shows. The album features welcome contributions from a like-minded cast of characters, Bisiís old 80s pal Bill Laswell as well as members of the Dresden Dolls, Balkan Beat Box, World Inferno and drummer Bob Díamico of the Fiery Furnaces.

The opening cut Drink Your Wine is basically punk Motown in the same vein as the Clashís Hitsville UK with layers of the guy/girl vocals that have come to typify Bisiís recent work along with a characteristically sardonic lyrical sensibility: ďDrink your wine and donít be silly,Ē Bisi admonishes: he doesnít suffer fools gladly. Building from a dusky noir intro, disembodied vocals rising over bass chords, Rise Up Cowboy explodes into a pounding art-rock anthem laden with dynamic shifts, layers of evil psychedelic guitar glimmering in the background, Bisi doing an impressive job as Peter Murphy-style frontman. The Damned only wish they could have sounded this apprehensive and ominous.

Mile High Ė Formaldehyde blends early 90s style Lower East Side noir blues with careening Firewater/Botanica style gypsy punk, propelled by the Dresden Dollís Brian Viglione on drums. Its companion track Mile High Ė Apple of My Eye, with Laswell on bass, is a study in contrast, sultry and pulsing, something akin to New Order as done by early Ministry. Itís a vividly sisterly approximation of the previous cutís menace, which is particularly appropriate in that it was inspired by Bisiís daughter. With its clever layers of vocals, the final cut, the title track recalls the off-the-rails psychedelic eeriness of Bisiís previous album Sirens of the Apocalyse (very favorably reviewed here). Essential listening for fans of dark imaginative rock: Bisi has several midwest and New England live dates coming up. Youíll see this on our Best Albums of 2009 list at the end of the year Ė not bad for a little five-song ep.

courtesy of the Lucid Culture blog