Starving Weirdos are prolific exponents of drone. On Into an Energy, the band travels on its somewhat less-than-merry way, adding dark folk sound fragments into a cosmic tribal stew that was concocted long ago by Garden of the Elks. However, Starving Weirdos also add lovely shards of relaxed industrial and digital sound, taking the release out of the ancient woods and into a more modern place far beyond post-hippie hocus-pocus. At times, the band hints at taking off in fierce Hawkwindian space-rock flight but ultimately seems to prefer hanging around the launch pad, exploring new metal clanging sounds, and adding layers with its laptops. This is more than pretentious hodgepodge dressed in flimsy new clothes; the album has a rewarding, honest flow and a melodic appeal nestling just below sly rhythmic shenanigans. It’s a pity that intriguing spoken vocals on tracks such as “Walking Towards Perfection” are buried a little too deep in the mix. (Note to the band: The foreboding narratives of Godspeed You Black Emperor! show the power of letting us hear the words clearly.) Nevertheless, Into an Energy is a grower with a potent mix of naturalistic and processed sounds but none of the sheer fury of, say, Aufgehoben. What’s more, people who tend to run screaming at the mention of words like “drone”, “industrial”, “dark”, and “folk” can safely enjoy Starving Weirdos giving their ears a little freshener. While it’s anyone’s guess how hungry the band truly is, one can easily surmise it isn’t particularly weird.
// Notes from the Road
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