Friday, May 17, 2013


There's not much more that can be said about Joe Preston or Thrones. If you've never had the pleasure of witnessing the one-man wrecking crew lay sonic waste to a room, I don't know what's up with you. Maybe that's harsh, but Preston has been flexing this blissful sludge since 1994. Granted he took an extended hiatus, but Thrones touring schedule since 2010 has been as merciless as his sludgy insanity. He seems to be everywhere.

Maybe I say that "not much more can be said" because Thrones is a difficult project to describe. One charismatic, light-hearted grizzly bear, bookended by enormous cabinets, snuggled by machines, and comfortably harnessed to his bass orchestrates a series of distorted, feedback-riddled, ominous, surreal, gutteral, grinding (adj., adj., adj.) songs that offer enough ingenuity and complexity to satisfy any noise, sludge, metal, punk, arty music fan out there. Thrones trudges through its own landscapes, carving out tectonic plates of brutal awesomeness.

Thrones recordings are consuming in their own right. There's a groovy jazz aesthetic that courses through all the slow heaviness. Live, however, is how you need to experience this. It's imperative. From the first crack of sound, it's a visceral journey like no other. Preston effortlessly erects an eerie (some say "witchy") ambiance that envelops the audience. There's a subtle give and take, but the music wins in the end. Lured by the basslines, Preston pied-pipers the audience through an intricate set that pushes the bounds of experimentation without sacrificing the crusty edge that provides for most of the nightmarish joy of feeling Thrones live.

Thrones just came off of an east coast tour with Floor, (with some envy-worthy dates that included VAZ, and Torche), played a recent show with the Need and Fed Ex, and is playing a host of shows this spring and summer. There's probably a lot more out there. Who knows?

I jumped out of my chair, hugged my girlfriend, and high-fived our cats and dogs when I read the email exchange between Josh Vanek and Joe that landed Thrones for Total Fest this year. It was, perhaps, one of the most beautiful series of communications that I watched unfold. I'll say "don't miss this set" more than a few times between now and then, and if I see you there, I promise to hug you only once.  
The day is bright and beautiful and full of hope:

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