Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till Release New Solo Albums Today on Neurot!

Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till
Release New Solo Albums Today on Neurot!

Scott Kelly
The Wake

The Wake proceeds at it’s own pace, each strum of the guitar is almost wrenched out of Kelly’s soul. The chords are slow and precise, ringing through the hollow production in a way that lets each note hang in the air before vanishing. This is a kind of honesty that almost nobody attempts anymore. - Iann Robinson / NoneLouder.com

In James Joyce's Dublin the streets inhale and exhale an Irishness that is so fundamentally elemental that it's more a part of the landscape than the actual landscape which is to say: his books are more real than the real space they describe. And so it is with SCOTT KELLY, great guitar griot and founder of Neurosis, and his Wake. Or THE WAKE, to be precise. Its reality supersedes the place, the space and the particulars that gave birth to it. Mixing imagery that borders on a bold and stark contemplation of the limits of our earthly existence via our failed loves, efforts, conceits and even our less than noble other failures [blissfully unspecified and probably unnecessary to HAVE them specified: if you're ALIVE the blanks are easy enough to fill in], THE WAKE with its lion-in-the-winter woe wrenches the almost inexpressibly sad into seven songs that sound like what you hear when you're just about to not hear anything anymore.

"The weather never changes in my world." – Kelly

Goddamned right.

With an acoustic guitar and a croon that crams the lilt, lift and longing of several lives well lived into 5-some-odd minutes of every song this record would not only not have been possible at any other point in either his life, or ours for that matter, than now, it also seems to suggest the shape of beyond-now: thin and on fire.

Enjoy it. Time is short.
--Eugene S. Robinson/www.eugenesrobinson.com

Tracklist for The Wake:
1. The Ladder In My Blood
2. Figures
3. Saturn's Eye
4. The Searcher
5. Catholic Blood
6. In My World
7. Remember Me

Steve Von Till
A Grave Is A Grim Horse

A Grave Is a Grim Horse ruminates quietly on the fleeting nature of human life. Von Till reaffirms his commitment to theme by including some eclectic covers. His choices underscore his attention to detail, particularly “Clothes of Sand” by Nick Drake and “The Spider Song” by Townes Van Zandt. These songs work on two levels; in addition to being thematically related, the songwriters’ fates marry perfectly with Von Till’s brooding depiction of life and death. - Prefixmag.com

Perhaps the history of the song is innate within us. At least that's what we might glean from STEVE VON TILL's third Neurot Recordings solo outing A GRAVE IS A GRIM HORSE. Intertwined with interpretations of songs by Nick Drake, Townes van Zandt, Mickey Newberry and Lyle Lovitt, Von Till's powerful yet subtly graceful originals merge with a lexicon that manifests as something beyond the concept of persona that popular culture has repeatedly old us over the past 50 years. Where his previous releases showed reverence for folks music forms of the past, A GRAVE IS A GRIM HORSE peers directly inward, drawing from this history of song and earnestly embracing the need we all share to etch our mark upon the artifacts that will ultimately survive us.

Listening to the album, there's a troubling theme that reveals itself only when we're not seeking it. It tells us that we are nothing more than the part of the sum of an elusive whole, but sometimes the patterns that define us can be harnessed, as they are here. And what's most striking about the album is that Von Till's originals are so immediately captivating and threadbare that they seem more familiar on first listen than the works of the time-honored songwriters to whom he pays tribute.

Tracklist for A Grave Is A Grim Horse:
1. A Grave Is A Grim Horse
2. Clothes of Sand
3. The Acre
4. Willow Tree
5. Valley Of The Moon
6. The Spider Song
7. Looking For Dry Land
8. Western Son
9. Brigit's Cross
10. Promises
11. Gravity

Scott Kelly is currently working on the new Blood & Time record, as well as Shrinebuilder with Wino (St. Vitus, Hidden Hand, etc), Dale Crover (Melvins), and Al Cisneros (who has a new drummer in Om) which is due in 2009 on Neurot. Combat Music Radio is also still going strong. Steve Von Till is working on a Limited Edition release of his Harvestman soundtrack to the film "Hate2O." Both are writing new music for Neurosis and Tribes of Neurot.

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