Raising blood from skin and metal as a founding member of Michael Gira?s thug rockers Swans and belting out ten shades of hell behind Rhys Chatham?s guitar swarm has cemented Jonathan Kane?s reputation as a legend of New York?s downtown music scene. Even during his stints with these outfits Kane was always interested in the limits of the blues and this theme he explores with relish on his debut album, ?February?. Tying simple blues motifs to the orchestrated guitar minimalism of Glenn Branca and Chatham, Kane manages to create pieces that are simultaneously meditative, but unashamedly rock. The closest reference points are Henry Flynt, whose hillbilly ragas conjure the same sense of the mystic from the earthly, and the late Mark Sandman?s Morphine, who shared with Kane a penchant for getting into the groove. ?February? ends with a wondrous workout of Chatham?s ?Guitar Trio?, adding an assured swagger to the original piece, before slowly coming to the boil.
Oh, and the drumming throughout is great. 7/10 -- Spencer Grady (24 October, 2005)