Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Let's be honest, Ed Shrader's MusicBeat is awesome. Part performance art, part ground razing minimalism, part resurrection, part anarcho-aggression, Ed and Devlin induce some of the most bristling, sweat-inducing, drum driven songs that strip everything down to their most malleable and fluid parts.

Yeah, adjectives.

Bear with me: I like to envision ESMB as some psycho-revivalist who eschews tents in the middle of the bible belt for any legitimate PA they can find. Once plugged in, Ed and Devlin proceed to perform miracle after miracle, offer you the face of whatever being you think exists beyond you, and then drench it in chaos. It's palpable but insufferably indescribable. The chanting rhythms, uninhibited angst, and wonderfully tongue-in-cheek subtlety challenge you to let go of what you hold dear. Guitars? Who needs them? It's a crazy construction that threatens to devolve into unrelated, illusory corollaries, but somehow retains its center and discharges something close to 1980 Mt. St. Helens or the immanent event of the Yellowstone caldera.

Shit is crazy, heavy is what I'm saying.

I like music that challenges me, that pushes me to new places, that forces me to question what's what in the sacred ground of DIY punk, but also makes me feel alive, strips me of complacency, and shoulders me with anxiety. Additionally, I want music to reciprocally challenge itself and the ground it rests on at the same time. Disappointment only exists when we have expectations; things that strip away our ability to frame it and to define it allow us to roll with it and to enjoy the odd juxtapositions it erects: a sublime proliferation of sonic matter.

So there. Ed Shrader's Music Beat brings their feverish, echoes to Missoula this year. You know that scene in the Sorcerer's Apprentice when syncopated chaos is arrested by salvation? Not here. There's no nostalgia, no reckoning force, no powerful overseer to shepherd you into tranquility. And that's how we like it: raw, driving, experimenting, maneuvering relentless fun. Beyond definition.

Ed Schrader's Music Beat from GONZO CHICAGO on Vimeo.

No comments: