Posted on by jdoerck | Posted in Review | Tagged

Of the many "Dithers" you may find on, this Dither, a NYC-based electric guitar quartet, is one of the more extreme and satisfying. If you've mind's-ear notions that this platter will likely evoke masters of Guitar Clang such as Glen Branca, Rhys Chatham, Sonic Youth, and Elliott Sharp (who contributed liner notes herein), you'd be partly correct. This debut release isn't an all-out assault (though there are moments of that, to be sure)-it's a collection of compositions from them that've grown-up with the six-string electric laced into their DNA. Lainie Fefferman's "Tongue of Thorns" lets an A-chord be its co-pilot, its guitar-ring going from a whisper to a steel mill bashing away to save its soul, or to summon the spirit of Joe Strummer From Beyond. Depending on your mood and proclivity toward repetition, you may find this annoying or cathartic (perhaps both, even). "Pantagruel," by Dither's own Joshua Lopes, assimilates the shades of Steve Howe's picking for Yes in the early 1970s, pensive jazz phrasing, Albert Ayler skronk, and the ominous, hammer-of-justice-about-to-fall twang of Spaghetti Western soundtracks. Miss the confrontational 'tude of No Wave? Put on your best basic black (and appear aloof or surly), and crank up Eric K.M. Clark's "exPAT." It's an exhilarating and occasionally confounding exercise in divergence, confluence, and middle-finger merriment. Compared to this, Branca sounds like Larry Carlton. Dither is uneasy listening to be sure, but there's also a bracing sense of joie de vivre amid the clangor, along with a lack of academic solemnity.