Tasting The Sea

Vertacyn Arc Materializer

10GeV Records, 2018


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


There appears to be little known about San Francisco's Vertacyn Arc Materializer, though perhaps that's done on purpose. This is a band with a sound as mysterious as their background, and if we're letting their music do the talking, well, there's a lot to be said.

“Stuck Between The Trivial And The Impossible” starts out orchestral, even cinematic, before plunging into some variation of experimental post-punk with tribal drumming and swampy synth that's ominous, artistic, and haunting. “I Would Like To Be A Cow. Now” follows with a serene, beautiful opener, where hazy vocals and moments of frenzied guitar invade the '90s lo-fi influenced tune. Still, it largely remains languid, other than a brief shouting bought near the end. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Though there's just seven tunes here, all float well above or near the five minute mark. “The Majesty Of Rock” sits above eight minutes, but it passes quick with their driving grunge-rock and prog and psyche rock tendencies that put this one near krautrock status.

The back half of the album is no less exploratory. The acoustic and calm start of “El Dorado” starts with voices emanating from a primitive tape recorder, but then shifts into soundbites and a fuller atmosphere of cascading, dramatic post-rock. “NatGeo” then brings crisp percussion and a visceral punk quality that wouldn't be out of place on a bill with Sonic Youth and Unwound, before the jagged tension of “Low Interest” that retreats into lazy lulls that bring to mind Thom Yorke and occasionally burst into spacey prog-rock noodling. The album ends on “The Good Book's Got Me Thinking,” where noise-rock meets slowcore in all the most fascinating ways.

This is a listen that's best absorbed as a whole rather than individual tracks. The experimental, undefinable sounds of Vertacyn Arc Materializer shows hints of bands like Wire, The Flaming Lips, and Pavement, but at the same time, this unfold like a collection that no one else has done or likely will do. Oh, and for you vinyl nerds, the LP actually has a working zipper attached to cover art.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2019 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of 10GeV Records, and is used for informational purposes only.