Wendy Eisenberg has released more music in the past five years than most bands will release during an entire career. The now Brooklyn-based artist, who until recently lived in Western Massachusetts, had kept a two-to-three album per year output of folk, free improvisation and experimental guitar records, each of them intricate, complex and abstract. By the time you’d have fully absorbed the manifestations of their proficiency, there’d be an entirely new set of compositions to untangle and become absorbed in. Maybe several.
Editrix, Eisenberg’s rock band, is much more accessible in terms of pop song structures, hooks, and shredding for pure hedonism. It’s not, however, straightforward in the slightest. Eisenberg is best understood as a guitarist who can shred with the best of them, and on Editrix’s sophomore album Editrix II: Editrix Goes to Hell, there’s plenty of fireball fretwork to go around, their towering rock anthems interwoven with dizzying feats of instrumentation that often brings to mind bubblegum Lightning Bolt or an even more hypercharged Deerhoof—whose own Greg Saunier is one of their most ardent fans.
Editrix Goes to Hell, similar to predecessor Tell Me I’m Bad, is a cavalcade of moving parts, a well-oiled machine that rebuilds itself every two to three minutes from newly designed schematics. That can take the shape of a pulsing psychedelic rock approach, like on “One Truck Gone,” or a tempo-shifting prog rock odyssey in miniature on “Hieroglyphics” (with Eisenberg whispering “I hate this part, it makes me feel so exposed” during its silences), or scratchy math-rock on the fairly accurately titled “Queering Ska.” It’s not simply the case of a tight rhythm section making an unimpeachable canvas for Eisenberg’s six-string flights of fancy. Editrix is a proper band that aren’t all just necessary to the overall sound of the band, but arguably engaged in an ongoing game of one-upsmanship; bassist Steve Cameron and drummer Josh Daniel are likewise proficient and dazzling performers in their own right, driving the direction of the songs as well as constantly reshaping them.
More than anything, it’s just wildly entertaining to sit back and watch Editrix go. They write songs that, if stripped down to their barest elements of chords and keys, would probably still be great songs. But that’s just not the band that Editrix is. They’re writing songs nobody else would think to write, performing songs that nobody else could play, and they leave a hefty impact on first exposure.
Label: Exploding in Sound
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.