Friday, August 22, 2014

Album Review: "Drone Maintenance" by BLACKWOLFGOAT

Drone Maintenance
BLACKWOLFGOAT is the side project of guitarist Darryl Shepard.

Shepard has been in about thirty different bands. He however, has chosen to create a side project in order to get out, well, whatever the hell this stuff is.

Drone Maintenance is the third record by BLACKWOLFGOAT. The previous two offering solidified the modus operandi: layered guitars, looped works, ambient music.

The current, well, we'll get to that later on in this review.

This particular record is a semi concept album, but who can honestly tell? There is so much going on that it's pretty hard to keep up with any implied story lines....that's not really a bad thing though.

Darryl Shepard of BLACKWOLFGOAT
In an age where is considering sending you books delivered by drones and the US Government infighting over stealth drone attacks, this concept seems strikingly poignant.

The album starts off, and reprises a bit later, with repairmen discussing the issues with the drones that require maintenance.

It's a very interesting concept.

The music itself is esoteric at its very core. If one were to consider the thoughts of a mechanic as they worked on a machine, what would they sound like? Full of words or emotion?

Emotions make noise and they can be heard.

This album was largely captured live and often times in one take. For this reason, the danger is palpable.

To call these songs unpredictable would be like saying Willy Wonka is mildly eccentric. The songs head off into directions that the listener could never expect.

The album cover, the title, the pedigree of the musicians involved all add up to a seriously brutal record, but there's no brutality involved at all. It's, well for lack of a better term, jazz, but compared to Drone Maintenance, a jazz song is as structured as 12 Bar Blues.

This is the most interesting instrumental record I have ever heard in my life.

Release: 8/26/14
Genre: ???
Label: Small Stone Recordings
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  1. Love the album cover, not sold yet on the music, lol. Nice find though, Nik, thanks!

  2. Well, not just anyone can listen to instrumental guitar to begin with, and this is odd even for that odd genre.