EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING - Rush To Relax LP
On Goner Records.
It took Eddy Current Suppression Ring just six studio hours to craft a follow up to their sophomore LP, Primary Colours. That's less time than most Americans will spend at work in a day. While that pace created a final product much less polished than the band's previous work, Rush to Relax is also a more accurate, interesting sonic articulation of the band's frenetic frontman, Brendan Suppression. "Anxiety" picks up right where Colours left off-- its rubber-band riffs wrapped tightly around Suppression's existential babbling. The guitar sound is still a spring-loaded hybrid cobbled together from Saints and Stooges records.
At their best, Rush to Relax's songs maintain a firm grip even when they meander. "Gentleman" and "I Can Be a Jerk" are essentially the same song, but while the former is pretty, the latter is too cute for its own good. And the band still has a tendency to jam around one whale of a crescendo, as though every song is capable of morphing into a kind of krautrock-infused soundcheck. (After all, these dudes originally formed during a lager-fueled jam session at the tail end of a Christmas party.) "Tuning Out" and "Second Guessing" fall under that category, and, despite some truly great stretches of psychedelic tension, both lose their grip fairly often. "Burn" is much more efficient and white-hot, Suppression sounding particularly ferocious when consoling a friend suffering from manic depression. Its foundation is basic, its hook sturdy. But its lyrical shift outward feels weirdly transformative.
In the album's titular closer, just before the three-minute mark, it sounds as though the band is about to take off on another hike-- the track has a 24-minute running time after all. But then something extraordinary happens. What felt like the rumblings of one hell of a ride became something completely different, zen even. After some existential tripping about "going on a holiday and you're never coming back," Suppression nails down a mantra. Guitars begin to bleed into the sounds of surf lapping against the shore. "Slow down before you fall down," he murmurs. And for the last 20 minutes of the record, you can hear nothing but water and sea birds in conversation with one another, all of it as mesmerizing as every riff and rant that came before.
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