Rangda: False Flag Review
Named after a child-eating demon queen of Balinese Mythology, Rangda is the first of what is promised to be a series of collaborations between three of the noise rock world’s biggest players. Having worked together in pairs before but never together, this record marks the first collaboration between Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls), Ben Chasny (Six Organs Of Admittance), and Chris Corsano. Supposedly created under one practice, one live set and one studio session, Rangda follows a pretty simple guitar/guitar/drums setup.
The record starts out strong out of the gate with “Waldorf Hysteria”, with Bishop tearing through a quick guitar riff until all hell breaks loose a few seconds later. Both guitars weave leads back and forth while Corsano’s drums never come close to letting up for just a second, to the point where the band seems about to explode, the band stops suddenly at just over the two-minute mark. “Bull Lore” brings things down with an almost spaghetti western-sounding track with Bishop’s ripping leads, not sounding that different from later Earth albums. “Fist Family” is 8 minutes of droning guitar while Corsano shows off why he is the best drummer in free jazz/noise rock world. Corsano fluidly moves around the kit, never slowing down for the whole 8 minutes of the track. The record’s first side closes with “Sacophagi”, a mellower number that would fit in quite well with Chasny’s previous work.
The record’s second side kicks right back into high gear with “Serrated Edges” and only lets up momentarily over its nearly 4 minutes. The record closes with the 15-minute “Plain Of Jars”, another one that sounds very much like Chasny’s previous work as Six Organs Of Admittance. The song builds slightly over time and finally draws to a close with a single clean guitar line repeating.
Given the lineup, it’s hard to expect that this record would disappoint, and “False Flag” doesn’t even come close. Bishop, Chasny, and Corsano come off sounding completely natural through 40 minutes of mainly improvised music, shifting from raging to gentle with ease. Look for future recordings from this lineup because they don’t seem to have much chance of failure.
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