Under Review



Arachnidiscs; 03/09/2015

Matt Hanson

Lo-fi fuzz breaks over a walled canopy of silence before spreading out into a dense shadow of ambient noise. Electric guitar then licks atop in tasteful drops, liquid like the sound of Ethiopian jazz, or desert blues. “Vacheron,” the first track on Lero’s limited edition October 28, 2014 digital release by Arachnidiscs Recordings is haunting, melancholic and stirring.

Recently released on CD, fans and new listeners are now able to extend the Nashville handshake (aka mutual music exchange) with a slice of this incomparable artist. As the ten-track album ensues, vocals creep through the transmogrified wavelengths. Though the artist self-describes the record as an “impassioned burst” of soundtrack music, Trichomes hits the deepest nerve.

This is a mega-focused joint for the slacker generation still slouching towards Nirvana in a burnout haze of pursuance, sonically tragicomic in the fading tones expressed by talent so raw the musicians almost sound unprepared. The recordings are especially appreciable for those with tastes as long acquired in the midst of intersecting, alternative scenes.

“Ayler,” the second track by Lero, stings and charms, utilizing all of the originality of primary colors rat/mini on tape dirt, freeze on tape drones, DDL on tape loops, Bell & Howell on tape tones. A post-contemporary genre mixtape of sound, Trichomes is a lush impressionism of drone, folk, noise, jazz and ambient styles. “Summer Skin,” the album’s third track opens with the flitting obscurity of overdubbed voices. “I don’t understand you,” a man mumbles throatily. “You try it,” a woman says nervously.

Lero is a swimming call to DIY performance art in the vein of instrumental and vocal courage as the group harmonizes to nebulous, arrhythmic tunes that speak volumes in their animated silences, and that frequently demand a closer listen, inviting the ear to fall headlong into an abyss of unknown, rarefied musical beauty.