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Terrestrial Tones: Dead Drunk

Terrestrial Tones: Dead Drunk

Label:Paw Tracks
Release Date:2006

By Marc Masters | Posted 4/5/2006

Thirty years on, the Residents are still a pretty great rock group/art project/performance troupe/whatever. But in terms of sonic innovation, they’ve been treading water. Imagine if the mysterious minds behind 1974’s groundbreaking Meet the Residents ventured further down that album’s path. They would likely end up somewhere close to Dead Drunk, the third release from Terrestrial Tones, made up of roommates Eric Copeland of Black Dice and Dave Portner of Animal Collective. The duo’s hypnotic mesh of noisy mantras and wailing drones sounds like Meet the Residents sifted through decades of computer upgrades, pedal invention, and general underground fermentation.

Dead Drunk starts with a circuslike loop swiped from the Residents’ freak show, skipping in place like a broken merry-go-round. From there, layers of whining synth, bouncing rhythms, and euphoric yelps pile ever skyward. Highlights abound. Stickiest are “The Sailor,” a collection of voices-in-your-head strung into a conga line, and “Plow Man,” a miles-thick melt of howling ghosts and mechanical sound-debris. Black Dice’s circuit-bent blurts and Animal Collective’s tribal bounce are visible through the duo’s colorful fog, but the album is thicker and less penetrable than the duo’s day jobs. Still, it’s hard to imagine any Portner or Copeland fan being disappointed. The pair’s feverish imaginations run wider than any one sound, and Dead Drunk is rife with proof.

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