I’m a little hesitant to say that Mats Gustafsson has a “Midas” touch. People who are not predisposed to his brand of noisy caterwauling may retort that everything he touches turns to lead. Then again, when a Canadian label specializing in noisy jazz-rock puts out the new album from the Gord Grdina trio featuring Gustafsson on sax, you probably already know on which side of that fence you reside.
Barrel Fire is a live album from a 2009 Vancouver International Jazz Festival performance, and the resulting sound is as violent as the cover art. Grdina’s guitar tone is rather conventional, but he does everything he can to make it sound downright nasty. As far as Babin and Loewen are concerned—well, it takes a gusty as well as capable rhythm section to keep this kind of racket flying at full speed. Yeah, the recordings of Drip Audio haunt my sleep now.