I occurred upon Wolfmanhattan Project at an Albuquerque record shop I’d in no way visited prior to. It was a single of these happy discoveries which are all as nicely uncommon in this age of quick international availability.

A trio, the band consists of Mick Collins (Gories, Dirtbombs), Kid Congo Powers (Gun Club, Cramps, Undesirable Seeds), and Bob Bert (Sonic Youth, Lydia Lunch Retrovirus.) In 2016 they spot out a 7” of “Smells Like You,” a catchy, sing-along raveup that most likely would not surprise fans of the members preceding bands. Blue Gene Stew, even though, is an altogether diverse animal — a single that starts out on familiar ground, even so swiftly veers and meanders into unknown terrain.

From the outset (with Bert’s cover painting looking like a paint-by-numbers rendering gone way incorrect), practically nothing at all about this album is content material material to rest on laurels or offer upon per-conceived expectations. Even though there are surely hooks to be had, it is side two precisely exactly where difficulties seem to come collectively — precisely exactly where structures are loosened. Cornerstone “Toynbee Tile Blues” appears to be the significant to what the band is going for. It is an eight-minute Beat poetry/space-soundscape ode to the mysterious linoleum tiles that began appearing in the 80s and 90s, embedded in Philadelphia asphalt and other cities, carrying oblique messages about the resurrection, et al. And as a piece, it is a terrific touchstone for pondering what these three restless sonic explorers are quickly right after. In a time when nostalgia, branding, and predictability are the prevailing order of the day, Wolfmanhattan Project emphatically grasps for new methods of expressing and reconfiguring the music they’ve devoted their lives to. I have no idea what their subsequent record will sound like, but have no doubt it will be in contrast to this a single. words / d samarov