Releases "ANNWN," Today on Hydra Head!
Technically stunning, compositionally deep, and the sum of its parts. - Pitchfork Media
This isn't metal proper; it's metallic art-rock--beautiful and more emotionally
engaging - Alternative Press
Lightspeed guitar soloing, with rapid bouts of shredding interrupted repeatedly by
controlled and constrained bursts of feedback. - Dusted Magazine
Ocrilim's Anoint plays as if guitarist Mick Barr collected the crests of metal's greatest solos and arranged these fragments until he composed a masterpiece. - The Stranger
Metallic pieces of awesome speed and complexity. - Time Out New York
There’s a man that goes by the name Mick Barr - he's a man of many talents and many masks, and a master of them all. Mr. Barr has performed in a number of groups, as well as as a solo artist under such banners as Orthrelm, Octis, Crom Tech, The Flying Luttenbachers, Zach Hill & Mick Barr, and most pertinently Ocrilim. The Wikipedia entry on Mr. Barr marks him as an "american avant-garde metal guitarist", and while this may not be entirely accurate, it's probably as close as anyone will come to paraphrasing the genre defying compositions made by Barr and his occasional collaborators.
It can be said without hesitation that the content of "ANNWN" (comprised entirely of pieces for multiple electric guitars), is his crowning achievement, and a considerable achievement in the larger scope of modern music. Though Mr. Barr may be in some way categorized as a metal guitarist, this album has as much to do with modern classical composition as it does with anything associated with the term "heavy metal". Daunting as that may sound to some, "ANNWN" is an album that will appeal to anyone with ears and a true sense of musical adventure.
Mick Barr’s list of prolific recordings have seen the light of day on a laundry list of prolific labels such as Ipecac, Troubleman Unlimited, 5RC, Tzadik, Gravity, Peterbilt and a host of others. Now he can add Hydra Head to the very top of his list.
It may seem strange that Hydra Head and Mick have never before teamed up for an official release (aside from an Orthrelm contribution to the "Where is my Robotic Boot" Vol. I compilation), especially considering the mutual territory of interest shared by both entities, but as we like to say (often in response to a question about a long delayed vinyl version of something or other), better late than never.
1. Part 1 (13:05)
2. Part 2 (15:22)
3. Part 3 (8:59)
4. Part 4 (10:18)
5. Part 5 (13:05)
6. Part 6 (11:25)
7. Part 7 (7:23)
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Releases "The Pride of Chester James," Today on Eyeball Records!
"A gifted pop songwriter who pens concept albums at a breakneck pace" - Lost At Sea
"Catchy enough to burrow deep into even the most reluctant listener’s head." - Pop Matters
"Dave Debiak, the mastermind behind the plot, and his band create some beautiful orchestral pop that is influenced by Grandaddy, The Flaming Lips, the Pernice Brothers, and even the Alan Parsons Project." - Done Waiting
"Headed by the narrative-minded David Debiak and having previously written the score to a film that never existed in Hang in There Charlie, Sleep Station’s newest work is the kind of thematically cogent album of which Hemingway would be proud." - Stylus Magazine
Sleep Station is the alter-ego of one David Debiak, a man who is notorious for writing some of the most groundbreaking concept albums of our generation. Over the past seven years he's released albums about a robotics engineer falling in love with a robot he created, two astronauts being abandoned by ground control and left to die in outer space, the love story of Dr. Carl Von Cosel (a famous necrophiliac who fell in love with his deceased patient, Elena Hoyos), and a first person drama taking place in World War II. Also the creative force behind New London Fire's epic I Sing The Body Holographic in 2006, Debiak has now turned his focus back on Sleep Station with The Pride of Chester James.
The recording, mixing and mastering process of this new record was scattered over the course of three years amidst tours, mental breakdowns, and all of the other wonderful obstacles life has to offer. In a finished basement that stylistically hadn’t changed since 1975, Debiak and company brought The Pride of Chester James to life with the help of a borrowed vintage tape machine, Hammond organs, pianos, Rhodes, Wurlitzers, and some old guitars and amps.
Though there were many moments over the years that made this record what it is, Debiak remembers one night in particular seeming to embody the creation of The Pride of Chester James. “One night Brad called me up and asked me stop by his house where he was recording his parts for the song “Always In The Fire”. When I showed up I found a rather unclean Brad in a very dirty and scattered bedroom. I climbed over the instruments and tangled chords to sit down and take a listen. What I heard was brilliant, he managed to layer the song beautifully and with great care. I asked how he got a choir to sing on the song only to find out that it was just him and his Mom huddled in his bedroom layering vocal tracks. I laughed my ass off and told him to please take a shower.”
A beautifully landscaped mash up of The Decemberists, Bright Eyes, Neutral Milk Hotel, Ryan Adams, Doves, Elliot Smith, Beachwood Sparks, Olivia Tremor Control, The Weakerthans, and Bruce Springsteen, The Pride of Chester James is a piano and acoustic-guitar-driven masterpiece where Debiak's vocals are behind the wheel, solidifying this songwriter as one of the best and brightest of our time.
"The record has weighed heavily on me for quite sometime. I often felt myself reflecting on it whether it be in a small hotel room in Paris or in my sleep. Writing the songs was the easy part, they came naturally, living and reliving them was far more difficult but some say that the joy is in the journey."
David Debiak (vocals, guitar, piano, percussion, ham radio)
Ryan Ball (guitar, drums, keyboards, wurlitzer, lap steel, mandolin, bass, piano, field recording)
Brad Paxton (guitar, vocals, drums, piano, mellotron, keyboards)
Kris Ricat (guitar, drums)
Josh Nichols (bass, piano)
Jason Debiak (paino, percussion)
Richard Polatchek (trumpet, percussion)
Vahak Janbazian (drums)
Produced by: David Debiak and Ryan Ball
Click here to stream all of The Pride of Chester James!
Tracklisting for The Pride of Chester James
01. Hello Mr. Coughlin
02. Under The Lights
03. What You Hide
04. Settle On Your Name
05. Tired Of Me Now
10. Hell Has Come With Me
13. Always In The Fire
14. Our Carnival
Sleep Station Live!
Feb 20 2008 Maxwell’s (FULL BAND) Hoboken, New Jersey w/ Baumer and The Gay Blades
Feb 22 2008 Trinity College (acoustic) Hartford, Connecticut w/ The Feverfew
Feb 23 2008 The ICC Alston, Massachusettes
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