Climbing the Tower (Super Secret)
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Jan. 23, 2015
Gather up enough Dead Space, Flesh Lights, and Swans, and you get a stash of Nazi Gold. The local trio aligns the latter's god of thunder Thor Harris (Shearwater) with Space man Quin Galavis and Lights bassist Jeremy Steen for a quartet of songs flexing post-punk. Dissonant chord clashes merge with a thrumming rush-and-pound in a nimble clangor driving Steen's urgent yelp as he works out existential crises. "We Make War" could just as easily be about conflict in the bedroom as on the battlefield, while the juxtaposition of religious iconography and domestic agony in "Maria" achieves a similar depth. The band's vision culminates in the title track, as a crashing crunge waltz frames Harry Crews' extrapolation of the UT Tower shootings with a perfect meld of intellectual angst and rock.