The Iron Kite
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Sept. 2, 2005
The Iron Kite
No Eyebrows (Twilight Flight Sound)
For those who know (but don't want to reveal themselves), the term "Iron Kite" is taken from a Dungeons & Dragons-esque online video game called RuneScape; an "iron kite shield" is a type of armor that's supposed to ward off harm. In musical terms, that translates into this Austin threepiece preferring amp-to-amp combat in the form of a 45-minute extendo-jam called No Eyebrows. Recorded live at Beerland last fall, the single-track disc offers plenty of weirdness, complete with colorful, slightly creepy cover art. The first seven minutes is all singer/guitarist Shawn McMillen's (also of local space cases Rubble) tribal grunts and screams and ritualistic percussion courtesy of Blake Carlisle, which then skitters into a 20-minute Texas-style cage jam. There are lots of paranoid, scattershot tempo changes and a few fist-in-the-air moments where the whole thing seems to congeal before separating. The rest vibrates between bassist B.C. Smith's low-end skewering and the squall of deranged black and blue noise. McMillen's birth grunts reappear later, capsizing under the waves of feedback. It's ear splitting, disorderly, shambolic an exercise in wormhole etiquette. And these guys are way more interesting live than some chainmail-clad ponce mining for coal in Crandor.