Saturday, October 30, 2010

Currently Listening: Nick Baran - "Superficial"

Oblisk has nothing to do with KISS, ... ...not sound-wise, apperance-wise or partying-eva-ry-day-wise.


The former is a Detroit-based quartet that blends in atmospheric psychedelia to propulsive, groove-heavy shoegaze rock. Sort of like (the latter,) KISS, they have a quiet, unassuming, virtuoso-type lead guitarist who doesn't sing much with Oblisk, if at all... But that's where sort-of's cease.

But, my silly self can't help but picture some Ace Frehley trip when I heard that said-Oblisk guitarist, Mr. Nick Baran, had been working on a solo record over the summer. Now it's done.

And, just like, as I understand it, KISS fans were pleasantly surprised when Frehley did the same solo thing in 1978 (alongside the less impressive three other respective efforts of KISS members), I was equally taken aback by the freshness and the beauty of Baran's compositions. The space, the delicacy, the clattery synth-n-drum shambles...


Heretofore Oblisk records and performances had the tall, lean guitarist slipping into Greenwood-esque trances as he tore into the instrument, blurring but percise, with blazing guitar solos that would swirl out with head-swimming tone modulation and growl with the stomp-released fire from a platter of peddles.

And yet, on Superficial - (a self-release you can check out here) he ends up going deeper into the trip-hop and ambient pop; darker, ethereal realms that mash together cymbal shears, clattering sequenced beats and a bending/swaying resonant bass groove. Sensibilities akin to the cloud-surfing chill-out nocturnes of Massive Attack get mashed up with scuffed, clangy noise-pop stir ups ala Jesus & Mary Chain. But what really throws me for a loop are the wafting, soft-brushed rainy day gleams like "Sleepwalker." The guitarist gets to heavily flex his penchant for the fuzzy magic of the synthesizer and showcase his own disarmingly pretty baritone croon.

Check out this fine centerpiece

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