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[2011 in Review: Bad Drone Media, ‘Glossy Eyes, Vol.1’]

Ranging from drone, to noise, to improv, this compilation from Buffalo’s Bad Drone Media is perhaps the clearest testament to the breadth of experimentation occurring within the Queen City. The compilation is not strictly a Buffalo affair, however, and does include tracks from friends within BDM’s noise network, including Pregnant Spore from Baltimore, Death Beef from Athens, Ohio, and Hostage Pageant from Virginia.

Without the existence of a single weak spot, Glossy Eyes Vol. 1 presents 13 articulate tracks that draw from distinct sonic wells. Mutus Liber‘s “Hesitation Resources” and Alfred Brown‘s “I’m Not a Fox for Nothing” both employ the workings of drone and ambient, while Pacing’s “Battle Damage,” GOD DAMN DEVIL EYES‘s “The Lady Next Door,”  and The Voidologists‘s “I Remember the Summer” all present different takes on harsh noise. Then VWLS meets the two sides in the middle with “Marauding Summer,” a screeching sci-fi trip down an eerie analog avenue.

Other standouts include Chapels’s “Stumbling,” a chattering lofi excursion, and Abramson Trump’s “Live at the Vault 1-30-11,” a masterful duet between two of Buffalo’s best musicians, drummer Jim Abramson and guitarist T. Andrew Trump. Both these tracks lend the compilation a stylistic depth by exploring territories outside of noise.

With several of these artists performing together on a regular basis at venues like Sugar City and the Jungle Gym it is hopeful that there will be a Glossy Eyes, Vol. 2 forthcoming from the Bad Drone Media label in the near future.

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Review by Cameron Alexander