Review of Her Mouth Is An Outlaw [12k1049]

Cyclic Defrost (.COM)

With Amplifier Machine 12k dip more than their toe into the glue of the pool milk of (post) rock. Be that as it may, the mostly improvised proceedings occur on precisely the same wavelength: a restrained and patient exploration in the placing of sounds that emphasize space, straight lines, texture, and feint melancholy.

Despite the fact that the group employs guitars, piano, violin, and drums, leaving little to the sieve of the computer, their tracks are still lined with condensation, merger’s, juxtaposition, slight alterations in speed, and, most of all, overlap. A simple, cyclical guitar pattern pirouettes slowly through “Up With the Curtain, Down With Yr Pants” while outside ambiences and muted conversations on violin variously divide and accompany them, their weak moan like a breathless sarcophagus against the warm intimacy of the airy guitar lines.

A finely tuned production also seems to hold the various torsions and tensions of the album together. Most everything is rather tight, and one can often feel the space between the musical elements, as the musicians savour the energy waves that reverb between them on tracks like “Pockets Full Of Red Dirt”. Even on “Into The Nearest Chair”, which opts for a rougher edge, the guitars firing off with a gruff energy, an attentive interaction remains, and the composition comes across as a well held together whole. Although this is a trait common to each individual piece, the album itself falls somewhat short of this mark, as the work passes away before its last rites are read, before the group do anything that might tie it all together in a significant manner. But it is pulled off with supreme confidence, the trio summoning a rich space in which much is all but sure to grow in the future. – Max Schaefer

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