Elliot Sharp / Carbon – Datacide – Cassette tape on Enemy Records

 

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Elliot Sharp / Carbon – Datacide – Cassette

Elliott Sharp’s Carbon had always been one of his preferred vehicles, especially for investigating his more rock-song proclivities. In this incarnation, with two drummers and Zeena Parkins on harp, he produced one of his more overtly rock-oriented albums featuring relatively short pieces (one only hanging on for 37 seconds) that tended toward snappy riffs and clear expositions; his work a few years prior with members of the Minutemen seems to have influenced him in this regard. Sharp, of course, never shies from messing around with these structures, and the listener is virtually guaranteed that every time the band locks into a groove, the leader will come along to shatter it in one way or another. At its best, this creates a fine tension, as on the opening “Freeze Frame,” where Sharp’s splintering guitar hovers just below the surface of the rocking riff, emerging at unpredictable points to upset the equilibrium. Unlike earlier versions of Carbon, where a raw, almost primeval sound was generated, subsequent bands bearing the same name became a little bit slick and one-dimensional, and that problem sometimes arises here. For every cut (like the eerily pastoral “Kipple”) that walks a different path, there are four or five that dwell within the same harsh, post-punk dystopian clime that Sharp reveled in.

Song List
1. Freeze Frame
2. D-Cipher
3. Nest Of Saws
4. Quack
5. Kipple
6. Inter
7. Augury
8. Chapter 11
9. Eyes Right
10. Dr. Adder
11. Cenobites
12. Point And Shoot
13. Unks
14. X-Talk
15. Just Cause
16. Gigabytes
17. Just Another Day’s Work
18. Arson

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