Back in 1981, tonal guitarist Glenn Branca released a droning, no wave masterpiece called The Ascension. Four electric guitars took the lead on five instrumentals while bass and drums bashed out mechanically precise rhythms. Branca’s reputation and compositions grew, as did the criticisms held against him. John Cage openly disparaged his style and approach while Branca himself turned to large electric guitar symphonies. If you want to get a good argument going, debate on whether or not Thurston Moore and Sonic Youth would’ve had a career had it not been for an album like The Ascension.
So, why is it that, in 2010, when Glenn Branca assembles another four guitar, bass and drum ensemble to record a sequel to The Ascension, hardly anyone says anything? The album is straightforwardly enough called The Ascension: The Sequel, and it seemed to drop with almost no fanfare at all. A small amount of fans are offering their opinions at rateyourmusic.com here, but professional reviews are absent. It’s puzzling, considering some would look at this event the same way a film buff would look at The Godfather, Part II.