Saturday, September 1, 2012

"Pagan Tiger Swing Band (cdr)"
released August 2011
limited to 39 handmade cdrs...
self released. out of print.

The Other Paper
Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 6:57 pm | Updated: 7:02 pm, Wed Aug 3, 2011.

Noise as a musical expression has gained a much wider audience in this century than in the previous one, with mixed results. The problem is the same as with punk rock: With the cost of entry so low, few genuine talents emerge.

That brings us to the collective efforts of the Altered States of the United Snakes. Before its new release, Pagan Tiger Swing Band, one could safely have overlooked the group. Now, it is best not to. This time around, Davey Highben and company have honed their splattered sound into an instrument of stabbing beauty.

What separates the artists from the poseurs in noise is their ability to stretch their creative vision out and onto a skeleton of structure. It is not an abdication of the absolute freedom of noise, but an acknowledgement of the limits of that freedom. The short list of such artists includes the likes of the Flaming Lips and Boredoms.
AS/US have taken their sound and melted it down into something resembling Sonic Youth's Bad Moon Rising, Pink Floyd's Meddle and Guided by Voices' first six albums of hissy beauty. The band has eschewed intentional (or unintentional) weirdness for three of recorded music's better sonic toolboxes and is infinitely better for it.
Time will tell if this is a mere dabbling with structure or Altered States finding its natural sound.
The Altered States of United Snakes will perform along with OBNOX and Andrew Graham and the Swarming Branch at 10 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 6) at the Rumba Café, 2507 Summit St. Note: A Trifecta listing in the July 28 edition incorrectly stated the show would take place last weekend.

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