[Sacred Bones, 2013]
Andrew Richardson, January 27, 2013
Not since Gravity Records started putting out records in the nineties have I been in love with a record label. There have been a few that were good, sure: In The Red, Estrus, Kill Rock Stars, Dischord. All great labels in their own right, but all released a turd or four as well as being extremely incestuous and taking few risks. Gravity never let up from that first Heroin 7”. All go, no slow. The trick with starting a label is creating a brand. Every record is better than the last. You know what it is just by looking at the cover. Maybe not the band itself, but where it comes from.
Sacred Bones has done just that. You’re never surprised by an album. Sure, it’s going to be dark. It’s going to be loud. For lack of better words, it’s going to be punk-as-fuck. They’ve been doing it since 2007, so I trust them. Personally, I wonder where they find these bands, scouring the globe in looking for the next band that has that “Sacred Bones” sound, in every crevice. I wouldn’t have expected Santiago, Chile to be a hotbed of psychedelic music. Evidently, I was wrong. The Holydrug Couple’s Sacred Bones debut album and the Can-driven space-rock of Föllakzoid (pronounced foll-ack-zoid), entitled II, were released on the same day.
Led off by the seven minute opener “Trees”, II sonically sounds more at home from Köln circa 1972 than present-day Chile. It’s an odyssey that leans heavily on the lazy than the roll. The monotone beat, the angular guitars, there’s no denying it; Föllakzoid plays krautrock. There’s a difference between wearing your influences on your sleeve and flat out ripping off. The quartet that makes up Föllakzoid walk a thin line. This isn’t a tribute act. It’s not covers. It’s inspiration, plain and simple, trying to pushing boundaries in a pop-conceived world, knowing that a song doesn’t end in three and a half minutes. II isn’t a collection of songs. It flows together in a cohesive unit destroying everything in its path. II is an album, something a lot of bands forget they are making. They only needed 5 songs to do it (though the shortest track clocks in at just over six minutes).
In a press-release for the stellar 12” (released in 2011) it was said, “The first time they jammed together they played non-stop without speaking for two hours and were seemingly over taken by a trance without any clear reference point”. You get the idea this is how the band records. Pressing “record” and laying miles and miles of tape until they find a groove.
Another testament proving that Krautrock isn’t just a geographical term to bands that were all in the same proximity. It can exist anywhere from its German origins, to the back-alleys of Chicago, to the streets of Santiago, Chile.