Nels Cline / Elliott Sharp

Open the Door

by Matthew Fiander

8 May 2013

 
cover art

Nels Cline / Elliott Sharp

Open the Door

(Public Eyesore)
US: 2013
UK: 2013

Nels Cline and Elliott Sharp recorded Open the Door back in 1999, but both labels intending to release the album closed up shop. So now Public Eyesore is to the rescue, finally issuing this interesting, thorny guitar-duo record. The chemistry between Cline and Sharp is evident from the jump, on the buzzing and frenetic “Blue Particles”. These are tracks that wander and allow strings to buzz, the play of harmonics against strange phrasings that challenge the listener to keep up.

The best parts here stretch the experimentation out. “Five Tastes of Sour” plays with the silence around the notes as much as the notes themselves, and the meditative results work well. The same is true of the slide-guitar led “Isotropes”, which pushes at its own borders for more than 13-minutes. The biggest track here is “Let Her In” and it too creates an interesting space through scuffing and scraping strings to make sounds echo into the studio, as if approximating feedback with acoustic instruments. The album can get a bit clustered up, the two piling notes on top of each other, but the best songs set up those fires with plenty of smoke. Without that set up, this stuff can be overwhelming. Still, it’s well worth this long-overdue release.

Open the Door

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