The advent of streaming music has, for better or worse, made it a lot easier for musicians to access and wrap their collective heads around influences, styles and band discographies than prior generations who found their way by digging through dusty bins, scouring for printed materials, and taking the advice of sage record store employees. One outcropping of this phenomenon has been a seemingly endless supply of groups who specialize in certain strains of neo-psychedelia, 60’s garage punk revivalism, or Joy Division indebted post-punk with most of these acts ending up with a life span that is usually only long enough to squeeze off a 5 song EP or 7″ before evaporating into the aether.
Albany, NY’s Sky Furrows however have taken a much different path on their latest self-titled LP than many of the sounds that continues to bubble up from the sub-underground in the last decade or so. The group successfully cross-hybridizes the sounds of krautrock, New Zealand indie and US underground influences into a heady stew that wouldn’t sound out of place being released on New Alliance in the late eighties. I almost had to double check the album mailer of my review copy for the obligatory SST catalog and sticker. The group is comprised of vets of the Albany underground scene, and members of psych-rock unit Burnt Hills; Eric Hardiman, Mike Griffin and Phil Donnelly who combine their forces with poet Karen Schoemer who fronts the group.
Hardiman, Griffin and Donnelly provide an array of deep avant grooves that provide a solid foundation that allows Schoemer’s to weave her spoken-word stream of consciousness tales of existential longing, and musings on the frailties of human connection with a solid aural backing. The group evokes imagery that is reminiscent to this writer of a roadmap from an early nineties road trip to nowhere, and everywhere at the same time. Music that’s as darkly poetic and mysterious as what’s captured on the proceedings here, doesn’t come down the pike too often. It’s an easy collection to find yourself deep in the grooves of. Get lost.