Ryley Walker & Jeff Tobias – It’ll Sound Different Once We Get Some Bodies In The Room
2.9.23 by Matty McPherson
There’s new 2023 curatorial efforts from Ryley Walker (Husky Pants) & Jeff Tobias (Strategy of Tension) either out or coming on their labels, (Sam Goldberg & the Echoing Department’s Some Songs Are Sung & Feast of Epiphanies’ Significance, respectively). Endearing excursions towards a plane of pop enjoyment the experimental ferric enthusiast ought to take note of. Although neither of which happen to string a set of syllables together that warrants rare use, and I assumed both were stopgaps towards a greater objective, I had not anticipated that objective was actually going to be another Walker jam session. One recorded on January 27th, sent hot to the Bandcamp on February 3rd, and to be shipped off in about a week. And just like that those syllables melted out of my mouth and into the atmosphere.
Ah there it is! We miss this term, don’t we folks? Back in the 2010s when you saw that term you knew where the quality laid and that the album had an intended effect that perhaps extended beyond mere technical precision or dexterity; the kind towards the emotive, primal core of why words are drawn up and transmitted online. We miss that term and its implications for discourse 3 to 4 years down the line. And yet now, I’m bringing it back. “EUREKA!” and say it loud. As Walker and Tobias’ It’ll Sound Different Once We Get Some Bodies In The Room feels of a small achievement in the current tape world.
Firstly is the aforementioned immense speed of release. Right here and at this moment is a picture of two label heads and long time players cutting to the brass tax and just presenting it as fast as possible. Secondly, the thing shreds, threshing out a love for both Astral Spirits noise and cd era Louisville post-rock; a match made in heaven played like Texas hold ‘em.
Although please understand, we have been told little about the occasion of this release. Just “Jeff and Ryley sit down.” Practically a fairy tale in title form. Jeff’s duo tapes have shown two sides to him. The type of spirit that can follow a game (as with Jack Cooper of Modern Nature on Astral Spirits) or outright entertain a wrestling duel against his own. And I assume you’re aware of how he’s feeling, from back last fall. Jeff’s character with the saxophone (amongst trombone and reeds that aims between deconstructive noise or swaggering croonery hasn’t been as prepared as this kind of player.
Walker’s guitar channels a playfulness and style-nodding prowess that recaptures the beauty of DRWZI DOORS. Still, that release is a whole other noisenik affair. If there’s a baseline to be found (both with the tape + jeff), then it’s in Gastr deconstruction; brevity laden pauses and awe-ridden freakouts break through the C35 in half the tracks. Ryley will lead with breadcrumb chords like small stakes blinds and he needs Jeff to call, or Jeff will fire up a buzz of chords or a trombone drone. Sonically, it starts at 0 and the other will check or bluff to create an imperative; the kind where both of their noises meet and create a deep listen and an impressive show of force. Across six tracks, their high stakes poker game challenges the two to think of how to force a tell out of either.
When tracks develop, they can start to move like the community flop; a creep of free-jazz cacophonies or post-wolk ambience. “Guest of the Government” opens a pathway to trance with just an inquisitive guitar loop and a low drone. “Burnt Toyota Sienna” becomes practically caught up in a sax tornado that feels natural. The delicate “Buzz and Glide” plays its cards slowly, teasing out a gorgeous gliding guitar melody that breathes and pervades the space when it shines for its few seconds against the brass of Tobias’ horn; a dialogue and resonance indeed! If the tracks do tangle to the 7-minute mark, then the river portion of these cuts reveal a faithful devotion towards The For Carnation amongst the ghosts of Quarterstick’s past. “Cigarette Lake” retains a spooky tales from the crypt vibe as it approaches the five minute mark, where Ryley invokes southern gothic hallows and Jeff creates the sweltering atmosphere. It’s in these moments I find my quench sated, the nicest sonic jackpot of a tape in recent memory.
Limited Edition Tape Available at the Husky Pants Records Bandcamp