A Resissue Not to Be Missed
Wyrd Visions is Colin Bergh, performing live and in the studio with Matt Smith, Owen Pallett, Jennifer Castle and members of Grizzly Bear. Originally, back in 2005, they performed in a group known as Awesome and the members would open the show with their individual solo acts and then they would drone into the group’s improvised percussion-based music. Bergh’s non-improvised music would eventually become Half Eaten Guitar, which he performed by himself behind a curtain on stage with strobe lights projecting his shadow and fog machines to add to the effect. After his first show, he got an offer to record his music from Blue Fog Recordings. The record Half-Eaten Guitar was released in 2006 until it went out of print. It is now being reissued by P.W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd., a truly interesting label, that alone is worth checking out.
His music is minimalist and repetitious, with the first two tracks being primarily a lone and buzzing acoustic guitar. But when he does speak, he does so with a shy, raspy sort of whisper, as if he is begging someone to listen closely enough to his words. And his verses are impeccable. His words ring through your mind, insightful, bitter and unrelenting. “Freezing Moon,” a Mayhem cover, surprisingly enough, is a particularly hauntingly beautiful track that stands out as a real gem on the album. He is joined by Jennifer Castle, as they sing about something quite horrifying — it sounds like a ghost revisiting the spot of his and many others’ deaths. That vibe is present from the first buzz the guitar makes on the album. Despite its age, this album is new. It sounds unique, interesting, fresh, and refreshing. The album closes with “Air-conditioning” which loops a doom-metal reminiscent riff for a while until an electric guitar starts to swirl the sound into a dizzying frenzy, coupled with Bergh’s words adding to the drone.
Half-Eaten Guitar sounds unlike much of anything else. The amount and quality of the sounds they get while remaining so minimal is absolutely baffling. This reissue is a gift to those of us who did not get the chance to hear it in 2006. To quote the website of P.W. Elverum & Sun, ltd. “This is a rare and incredible record and you shouldn’t ignore this recommendation.” My only, single complaint is that I cannot immediately hear more of this music.