When describing artists using the umbrella term of ‘post’ music genres, the word ‘cinematic’ is bandied about as a lofty adjective fairly commonly. If one were to take a Van Houtenesque view, it’s perhaps been used so many times that ‘the word has lost all meaning’. With Keep It In The Ground Psych-drone duo Some Became Hollow Tubes seem here to be on a mission to reclaim the term and hammer it back into an original semblance of shape.
Opener ‘Red Eyes Or Bleeding From The Nose Or Mouth’ is prototypical of what to expect from the rest of the six tracks on offer here. Restless drumming does battle with droning, swirling guitars that sound more like synth and electronics than they do traditional guitar notes and chords. Layers of uneasy droning slowly take on a tense and otherworldly form as the drums anchor the track, adding structure and slowly coalescing into sense. Distant toms spasm and rattle; a hypnotic wall of wavering and blooming noise added to layer by menacing layer, a digital collage of claustrophobic density.
Flowing imperceptibly into the shuddering, phasing pulse of noise and syrupy drum groove that is ‘Do Not Run Away Or Hide Sick People’ things take a turn for the heavenly. Blissful and smooth, it winds through the ethereal, drums adding and subtracting tempo by mathematical increments as the guitars build into a fuzzy haze. ‘Another Bad Subplot About A Boy’s Search For His Father’ begins with a full-throated sci-fi ‘waaaaaah’ adorned with trembling guitars. Shuffling, jazzy drums pick up; ticking cymbals shift beneath feedback before the pace kicks up into a tumbling tumult that’s swallowed by brooding noise. ‘Dad’s Last Purchase Was from Bed Bath And Beyond’ is stacked with echoes; a looping and lush caesura compared to the record’s more expansive offerings.
Closer ‘Construction and Validation of a Conceptual Model of Predicting Individual Choices of Activities in Rural Areas’ might sound like a dissertation title, but academic it ain’t. Scuzzy, dirty driving riffs and blaring synth tones weave over rumbling, fidgeting drums, coming in wave after climactic wave before winding down and eventually fading out. Perhaps the easiest comparison to make when describing Keep It In The Ground is to say that it sounds like an album’s worth of the dynamically expansive, soaring crescendos of Godspeed You! Black Emperor crossed with the quivering digital tones of latter-day Mogwai. Unsurprisingly, drummer Aidan Girt is a member of the former; he knows these roads, and his nous informs the hypnotic rhythms and forced dynamics throughout. Wide of angle, stunningly executed, shot through with wordless emotion, Keep It In The Ground is a score for a film that doesn’t exist – and even if it did, it would struggle to match the breath-taking sonic splendour found here.
Keep It In The Ground is released 21st June via Gizeh Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Jay Hampshire