by Brian Cook
on Sun, Nov 25, 2012 at 9:16 AM
(Crocodile) In their early incarnation, Earth took the core of heavy metal—the guitar riff—and served it up like a museum piece. Currently, the band has a similarly hypnotic approach, albeit with a foreboding country twang in lieu of big crunching guitars. Issues of distortion-versus-twang aside, Earth mastermind Dylan Carlson has always made us cognizant of the dimensions contained within each chord by reducing the riff to its bare essentials—minimizing additional instrumentation, slowing the tempos, and hammering the phrases home through repetition. Lest you yearn for the crunch of Carlson's first records, the Body's economic, volcanic sludge serves as a suitable reminder of Earth's formative years. Should you prefer Earth's more subdued tones and exploratory nature, show up early for the dark jazz of occasional Earth collaborator Stebmo.