Though their discography is still a jungle all its own, the Mouthus duo did catch the entrepreneurial spirit that pervades absolutely through the noise community. Mouthus recently formed their own private press label, Our Mouth, to showcase the band?s latest LPs, as well as related side projects ? recently Afternoon Penis and Eskimo King. Yea, this build-your-own ethic is causing quite the flood of releases, but Mouthus isn?t inclined to release every key scrape that hits the tape. So far, Our Mouth has served to treat fans to the band?s fully-baked experiments.
This summer, Brian Sullivan, the axe-wielding Shiva and circuit bender of the duo, made his first release under the moniker of Eskimo King. His first CDR, ?Tooth Shaped Migration,? is a veritable short-player, not even hitting the 18 minute mark. That?s quite prudent for a dude that I?ve seen shred a guitar live for damn near a half hour. But as Eskimo King, we are treated to the echoes of a somber and contemplative mind.
Track two begins with some all too familiar grime-drone, hinting of amateurishness, but it soon develops into a transfixing psych-drawl underscored by the percussiveness of a rattling cage and Sullivan?s bleak yet empathetic chants. The following track (all tracks are untitled) is a stunning work of understatement. Rhythmic, mesmerizing, and subdued stomps sound in the background. They sound like tufts of air released by some distant explosions. And then Sullivan?s tense guitar picking enters the track; he plugs a few chords, letting the vibrations of the last note resonate before he plays another set. It?s quite a devastating track, one that I hoped would extended beyond its playing time.
And that?s one problem I had with ?Tooth Shaped Migration?: the length of the tracks. Though I?m cautious to criticize an experimental guitar player for brevity, the third and fifth tracks would have benefited from some extra roominess. Still, the restraints of Eskimo King are sometimes laudable. Listen to track two, and then imagine (hating it) if it went on for another three minutes.
Track 5 raids the depths of your headspace before slowly, slowly erupting into the foreground. This is some DEEP tissue massage. Two minutes in, and you are treated to the harmonies of a mouth harp and lifting, layered hums that swirl into some soft aural pillow. Ack! Why did they have to yank it away so soon?
Five songs in, and the disc comes to an abrupt close. I guess I?ll just have to put it on repeat. 7/10 -- Andrew Meehan (18 September, 2006)