Deadly Orgone Radiation – Power Trips (2015)

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The members of Deadly Orgone Radiation — James Sedwards on guitar, Alex Ward on guitar and alto sax and Weasel Walter on drums — come with high credentials.

James Sedwards is guitarist and composer for the avant-garde band Nought and has worked alongside Ben Wallers and Sophie Politiwicz and Thurston Moore. Weasel Walter is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who worked with the Flying Luttenbachers until 2007, and currently plays with Lydia Lunch retrovirus and Cellular Chaos. He has also worked with Henry Kaiser and Marshall Allen, Peter Evans and many more. Alex Ward has worked with Derek Bailey, Lol Coxhill, Joes Morris and has been part of the groups Dead Campfoot and Dead Days Beyond Help (his current band). He has also worked with Steve Noble and John Edwards in the group N.E.W. These three musicians come together as Deadly Orgone Radiation for 38 minutes of absolute charm.

They open Power Trips with “Nexus of Entitlement.” An assault on the senses, driven by serious guitar work and drums, the track flows from one pounding set of rhythms to the next without a break. The second track “Time Funeral’ (Bury the Hero)” is similarly relentless. Starting with a headlong decent into a maelstrom of noise, it picks up pace throughout, never ceasing in intensity. The middle section is a wonderful to and fro between guitar and drums, before the music rises to a crescendo of heavy, unadulterated rhythmic focus.

The third track “The Unendurable Delight” does what it says on the label: It is delightful. Rhythmic counterpoints start the track, and these are quickly amalgamated into a stomping, rolling rise and fall as the track develops. Weasel Walter (who surely must win original name title) drums on this Deadly Orgone Radiation track with such intensity and speed you wonder at his stamina. Track four on Power Trips, “Commission the Cutthroat,” starts quietly — producing an interlude of esoteric communication between the players. This is quickly vanquished, however, as the track builds and keeps building builds toward its manic, demon-possessed finale.

Track five sees Ward switch from guitar to sax and this is a track with “Vavavoom.” Ward’s sax speaks, trills and riffles over the top of guitar and drums, screaming its presence while the drums and guitar offer mesmeric support. The instruments combine to produce a density of sound which is almost overwhelming. Walter pounds out the rhythms whilst guitar and sax respond in anarchic retorts: real communication.

The last track on Power Trips, “Strictly the Spike,” begins with sonorous guitar, backed by clacky rhythm on drums from Weasel. This is perhaps the most improvised track on Deadly Orgone Radiation’s CD and works its way into a frenzy, with each musician contributing to the overriding sense of oneness which comes only when musicians are totally in tune with each other. The mid-section is held by an intense drumming episode from Walter, which acts as the pivotal apex of the track. When this track finishes, the silence is deafening.

The 38 minutes of Deadly Orgone Radiation’s Power Trips show what can happen when three musicians come together who listen, cooperate and interact on a level unattainable for many. This is the kind of music which gets inside your head, and stays there. Deadly Orgone Radiation’s tracks are fast, intense and slightly hysterical but throughout there is a control and composure which holds the music just this side of chaos. Best played loud, this is not music to relax to but rather to dive into. Be prepared to be overtaken, blitzed and driven to the edge of stop. Wonderful.

Sammy Stein

Sammy Stein

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Sammy Stein
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