The approach to Tearist’s Living: 2009-Present makes sense for this sort of music. The album’s a collection of audience recordings of life performances over the last few years, with a muddy sound that suits a bootleg project. The LA duo’s no wave rides on William Strangeland’s synths, but it is Yasmine Kittles’ vocals and percussion, which is performed by banging bits of metal and other things, that make the act. Kittles screeches and wails through the nine cuts, completely turning herself over to the performances. That the lyrics are most unintelligible doesn’t matter – the meaning derives from the delivery as much as anything else. The document is fascinating and compelling in itself, but it also sets up what’s to come. It’s hard to say if the band can effectively make a studio album (or, for that matter, if they should), but Living shows there’s something going on here worth watching.
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