Tom Carter’s axe work with minimalist folk duo Charalambides is a model of craftsmanship and restraint. His numerous satellite projects, however, offer avenues for all manners of indulgence. This three-song recording with frequent collaborator Robert Horton finds Carter’s guitar droning, screeching, and mewling with reckless abandon. The first half of the opening title track is actually quite pretty: it’s an exercise in gauzy Growing-style ur-drone. After 15 minutes of ebow bliss, lysergic electric blues and makeshift percussion send the piece spiraling into much woollier territory. More mayhem ensues in “Rocket #9”, a blustery slice of ESP-Disk-inspired primitivism in which tenor sax and field recordings of geese honk along with wailing wah guitar. Meanwhile “Launching Pad at Pooneil Corners” burns slowly and cleanly, its foundation a mass of controlled feedback. While riddled with its share of tedious episodes, Steeljaguar Rocket holds up far better than most other limited-edition improvised rock sessions.
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