Kendra Amalie & Ryley Walker – Papaya In A Hound’s Tooth

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While the rest of us are in 2020, Kendra Amalie and Ryley Walker are hangin’ in 3020, creating some of the most disorienting records of twisted guitar alchemy that you’ve ever heard.

With the release of last year’s Intuition, Amalie proved herself to be not only one of the most fiercely original and versatile axe-wielders of our time, but also one of the top creative voices in modern music. Meanwhile, Walker has been reinventing himself over and over again throughout the last several years, emerging as a stronger and more ingenious guitarist each time. The pairing of these two unique forces could only result in something strange, wild and wonderful.

The record kicks off with an eerie soundscape of backwards slide work and stuttering pulses of spliced voices and white noise. This fades into the following track, “Thini Dust,” which is a distorted storm of Hendrixian solos that slash and recoil through a bed of rapid-fire MIDI beats, like the angry tentacles of a great sonic sea beast.

From here, things melt down into a droning pool of dark ambience with “Coma For Box Truck.” How these two managed to make their guitars and Amalie’s vocals sound like deeply resonating singing bowls on this track is beyond me, but it’s an impressive and effective feat. The mood lightens and the pace speeds up a little on the next song, “Drooling In,” which features spacey strumming softly gliding over celestial hums and throbbing electronic blips that sound like signals beaming in from some distant satellite. This is perhaps the most peaceful moment of the entire album, sounding like something that you’d likely hear on an Aural Canyon release. Any sort of serenity that this track might have created is immediately cut off once the following tune, “Shephard’s Drain” begins.

This track saunters with hammering electro beats and wonky, mutated guitar eruptions. It sounds like the instrument itself is howling with woozy turmoil, like it’s experiencing pure existential terror. Before things become too otherworldly, the track comes to an abrupt end. The record’s swirling, miasmic finale, “Rang Dizzy,” then takes hold and closes the album on a hazy, yet meditative note.

Papaya In A Hound’s Tooth is a listen that’ll challenge your very perception and definition of what guitar music is. You best give the album your complete and undivided attention. Open your ears and mind to it, and let it sink in (even if it might take a few listens). Get it here.

-KH


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