Thursday, August 11, 2011
Jovontaes - Don't Vex - Gnar Tapes
The tape scene is largely the domain of the lone individual, the bedroom visionary broadcasting his or her electro-magnetic signal into the world. The occasional drone duo or improv group crops up but it's rare that a Band proper uses the scene as a jumping off point. Don't Vex is tape number three (by my count) from Lexington, Kentucky's Jovontaes. It strikes the middle-ground between the sludgefest of Masks of the Land and the cleaner, spacier Thief of Baghdad on DNT, and ultimately feels like the group has found their Zone. I bring up the thing about bands on the tape fringe because I found myself thinking, "I bet these guys can really rip it up live." After a few years in Kraut-mode with releases coming at a steady clip, a tour or two and -- I can only guess -- hundreds of jams, the chemistry in the playing is palpable. They sound at ease on Don't Vex, finding a Can-like buoyancy for their mid-tempo pieces on side A and unleashing some previously unheard proto-punk energy on the flip. Best release to date from these guys. $7
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PS. limited quantities of Masks of the Land and Thief of Baghdad are still available.