No wave psych? That’s all I keep thinking of when listening to this. Arklight are 4 folks using traditional rock instruments with occasional out there flourishes. But it’s pure primitive, the vocals are like detuned Native American chants. The drumming is pure Mo Tucker, probably only using one drum and a cymbal. The first song has that “we’re all playing different things and see if it’ll stick together” thing. But it doesn’t stick together, but it’s a good way to disorient the listener and bring them into the fold.
“Cities in Trances” leads off with some hippy sounding stuff before becoming the monster pounding riff fest, but none of the riffs are really riffs and the vocals are upfront and sound bored in that Lydia Lunch kind of awesome way. That goes on for about seven minutes it seems before getting a little lighter. The drums stop and you can hear the intricate weirdness that was going on, backwards tape, low rumbling feedback and a guitar playing all by itself. The third track is all reverb drenched, with poppy bass playing a circus song and the singer trying to croon? Did I mention it sounds like it was recorded directly to a half busted boombox that sounds like some junkie tried to have it’s forcible way with? Well, I did now.
Doing some more research on this band (because I’m a professional, damnit) provides this unit is in NYC, which solidified my initial reaction to No Wave. It’s a natural arc from VU (except maybe on more Quaaludes) to Teenage Jesus & The Jerks, without the posturing and dance friendly styles that have been coming out of NYC for almost ten years (yikes). At 6 tracks stretching to just over an hour, it is an endurance test. But if you ever need your roommate to vacate the premises as soon as possible (and possible forever) this is the jam. 8/10 -- Andrew Murdock Livingston (1 July, 2009)