Tuft – “Bathory”

It’s rare that you see a label’s catalog describe a release accurately. When something is piss-ant whiny– well, that’s “emo”. “Boring” becomes “howling terror,” and “unleashes” does double-duty for “they farted this disc out.”

Naturally, I try to avoid reading these descriptions before actually listening to a disc for the first time. But I’m human, and I occasionally make mistakes. So yes, I read the catalog entries for Medusa Head Records label owner Kristofer Lee’s “Tuft” project well before the discs arrived in the mail– and oddly enough, when he describes the Tuft album “Bathory” as “tactile,” and “textural”… he isn’t kidding!

Lee claims to have used overdriven guitars, but the slithering, back-and-forth sounds happening throughout the album made me think he had some sort of gigantic, gooey squeeze toy running through a stack of amps. Something like this, but hanging from a crane:

A visit to the doctor revealed these pre-cancerous growths in Britney Spears' womb.

At proper volume, the title track sets up an aural tide, rushing towards shore before sucking you out to sea in a heavy rip-current. This isn’t a work of tremendous variation to be sure; but is instead a visceral document that can give listeners a new experience, and will reward those with the patience and fortitude to attend to detail.

As for recording quality, everything is perfectly fine. I’ve heard worse even from Boris; sometimes a sound this dense doesn’t translate too well onto disc– but I’m having no problems here. The addition of Lee’s creepy artwork is also a definite plus.

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