The duo choose to dial it a couple notches down and hone in on what could be construed as a more primal, instinctive mainframe, jamming on guitars/effects and drums in what sounds like a live setting and making few sudden moves. I’d be writing Oneida on the chalkboard right about now if I were attempting to teach Fulminant to schoolchildren, along with Psychic Paramount, Jennifer Gentle, Zs and The Gris Gris. The beats zip straight and steady for what seems like the entire first CD, usually under the thunder of a four-on-the-flo’ dick-kicker that gives way periodically to flashes of tom and cymbal, albeit without ever ceding momentum to silence.
I’ve played in a ton of duos as a drummer (not by choice), and it puts a ton of pressure on the rhythmic element; too much. I always felt compelled to busy-up my presentation, probably because my accompanists often couldn’t fill the room with electro-mash the way Kellar guitarist Dan Cross can. Andy Pyne avoids overplaying, offering a mature, ever-evolving platter of drum riffs that serve the song more than the man behind them, save the little flourishes I mentioned above, which are obligatory when you play two-man instrumental rock.
I’m about four-and-a-half minutes into “Buzzards Basking” and feeling a little bored and fatigued, and BOOM-BAPPA-POW-WOWWWW ZING-ZARF-ZAMMOOO a freak(the-fuck)out straight from the playbook of Acid Mothers Temple saves the day, and in the nick of time. Sometimes you just have to know when to put a cork in it. Kellar don’t always, and it’s to their detriment. However, when we’re talking about song lengths, on average, in the realm of eight minutes give-or-take, the idea is that there’s time to let these things develop. On that level, it all holds up well, “Gek of the Skua” in particular taking the tandem’s sound to a higher level as a direct outcome of having nearly 10 minutes to stretch out in.
If you want to hear Cross completely bust triumphantly out of his prog-punk-improv eggshell flip to “Stealing the Sun,” wherein he flashes around his kit consistently for the first time and reveals a new, more Hella/Zach Hill-esque dimension to Kellar’s attack, Pyne offering much more guttural, distorted accompaniment than Spencer Seim or Mick Barr would even consider. A bit of Chrome Jackson, maybe, also a jigger of the new Fadensonnen (which is basically a guitar volt) is how I’d describe Pyne’s arsenal of pedals and strings, but there’s some super-heavy stuff happening that unfurls a lot more possibility. “Lunar Moth” is his moment in the sun, warm sun-baked drone atmosphere glinting off icicle-cave guitar stabs that ricochet off the walls until they dissolve. Masterful.
The hour is nigh. Bombs are exploding, pterodactyls are swooping and doom is impending, so strap on your Trapdoor Fucking Exit helmet and head into the fray. It’s dangerous.