Invasive Exotics crawls into your brain, buries itself deep within your medulla oblongata, and unleashes a furious noise upon your waking mind that grips your body in a numbing paralysis. Indian Jewelry make music for wandering the scorching deserts after ingesting heroic doses of peyote. As their name implies, a certain native presence infiltrates the droning dissonance that pervades their debut album. Warning: this is not an album you put on for a sunny drive through the country with your significant other, but rather suited for those lonesome excursions across highways through vast nothingness when your consciousness can be as much an ally as it is a foe.
Houston, Texas’ Indian Jewelry adorns their music with a sense of impending doom, a motif that is both inescapable and yet utterly alluring. It’s mysterious, alien, bizarre, and feels like it should exist only in the mind of a mental patient. And that’s exactly what makes listening to it so interesting. The aesthetic opposite of industrial music, while still borrowing from the likes of Trent Reznor and pioneers of synthesizer drones Suicide, the sounds on Invasive Exotics are firmly rooted in the arid landscape of some unknown wilderness, seemingly abandoned by the modern world.
Trying to identify particular sounds, let alone recognizable song structures, is an exercise in futility, but seems an intentional ruse. “Lying On The Floor” gathers a grab bag of odd percussion, mostly unidentifiable and usually disturbing sounds, and relates them alongside a more conventional bass drum and strangely oscillating rhythms as synth-seamstress Erika Thrasher’s vocals attempt to break through the distorted haze. Rodney Rodriguez’s efficiently tribal drumming is as likely to induce a trance state as it is to invoke an LSD flashback. The discordant guitar picking that opens “Lesser Snake” does little to prepare the listener for the wildly hallucinogenic expanses of sound that soon follow.
If Jim Morrison had gotten lost in the desert, he might have eventually stumbled upon a sound not unlike the keyboard drone and metallic percussion of “Dirty Hands,” in which vocalist and guitarist Tex Kerschen bemoans “I don’t trust anyone that doesn’t have dirty hands.” Imagine the Apocalypse Now version of “The End,” but infinitely more frightening. Indian Jewelry is not a band you’re likely to hum along to, but will come back to because you’ll strive to “get it,” what it is that makes you interested enough to keep listening without disregarding it as too “pretentious” or “drugged-out.”
As on 10-minute centerpiece “Going South,” a plodding, beat-driven journey with its fair share of guitar freak-outs and echoing vocals, Invasive Exotics will guide you through nocturnal wastelands and deposit you beyond the threshold of the ongoing experiment that is `music.’ Like many drug experiences, your first impression will not be your last, so make sure you bring plenty of water when traveling in the desert.
Suicide – Suicide
Oneida – Happy New Year
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