Sometimes it’s good to be reminded that washed-out black ambient electronics still have the potential to irritate people. In its current issue, German legendary De:Bug mag totally shreds William Fowler Collins’ “Perdition Hill Radio” into pieces. The music on here, writes Thaddeus Herrmann, was “simply an immense nuisance”. Yeah.
Me quoting that review is further proof of the theory that a heartfelt beating can help a release more than a luke-warm, indifferent write-up. My own review, however, will be neither. For I’ve fallen in love with this album even though I can’t exactly tell why. It’s certainly the loudest, noisiest Type release so far, and I guess you could call it the first drone album on the label as well. And let’s not forget its tinges of country. The album’s centrepiece, the 21:30-minute track “Dark Country Road”, starts off as a forlorn piece of slide guitar nostalgica. But the crackling campfire that seems to set in after about two minutes turns about to be an all-encompassing blaze. “Total immersion”, as Type label head John Twells put it on his label’s forum, suggesting a headphone listen (one of the tracks also features in a podcast offered on the label’s website). Call it apocalyptic if you’re so inclined. Indeed, an end-of-days organ drone is just around the corner.
Even if “Perdition Hill Radio” might be too intense to digest in one single listening session, its appeal is augmented by the track titles: “Grave Robbing in Texas”! “On Perdition Hill”! “Slow Motion Prayer Circle”! “The Ghosts of Eden Trail”! Utter genius, no doubt, and perfectly befitting the album’s gothic neo-western sound. Think “The Hills Have Eyes” with Xasthur starring as one of the undead, looking for his drum machine (or, more recently, his drumsticks), corpse-paint dripping into the glowing desert sand. 8/10 -- Jan-Arne Sohns (8 July, 2009)