Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Heather Leigh - Empire (KSE #210)

Heather Leigh's voice will lead you to the land of nugs.  Peace and love to my good friends at Humboldt Relief :)

She's back - and you better be prepared to rock!!  After the stunning Not Not Fun lp's, Jailhouse Rock and Devil If You Can Hear Me, Heather Leigh returns with Empire, on Kendra Steiner Editions label.  This is a one-track cd-r, but almost feels like two tracks.

 The first sixteen minutes produces a maelstrom of sound, as Leigh shreds wildly on the electrified steel guitar, only tempered by her bluesy, angelic voice.  The beginning sounds like sweet-leaf lovin' Thurston Moore going nuts at a live gig, and the overall sound is reminiscent of Bridget Hayden.  Leigh runs her soul through the steel guitar, producing passages of strident sonics and fraying tones.  At one point, it feels like she is channeling Hendrix' version of 'Star Spangled Banner'.  Every few minutes she introduces a transition, but the ferocity of sound does not abate.  The last six minutes - prior to a transition in sound and feel - are ecstasy.  Leigh's guitar screeches and squeals, while her majestic voice moves to the fore.  It's the best part of the track.  Rock and Roll for the high heat of summer.  

Subsequently, there is a transition in feel and tempo.  The last nine minutes produces something more akin to a Charalambides track, as Leigh's emotive voice washes over soft, solitary notes that echo.  While the first part of the track was incredible, the last nine minutes is preferable as one can clearly hear Leigh's voice move in tandem with the solemn notes.

Another reason this glows among the others:  Empire was recorded by Matt "MV" Valentine in Spectrasound.  Also, the beautiful artwork by Bob Bruno comes in a wide variety of papers and inks.  Limited to 123 copies, purchase your hand-numbered edition directly from Kendra Steiner Editions.  No soundcloud clip for this one, but trust me: this smokehound would never lead you awry.  

peace to you, friends :)