In hyper-sped up media time, releasing the long-playing follow-up to a debut album within a year’s time is pretty much the only sensible path for a band to take. Issuing Lux through Kranky last April didn’t leave Chicago’s Disappears too much time to work up new material, thanks to a spate of well received touring. Summoning another 30-minutes of music, though, might be less difficult for this ensemble than others. Devoted to playing as few notes as possible, Disappears seems to be continuing its focus on simple atmosphere instead of the psych freeqouts its peers deal in. Surely, there’s been a resurgence in drug music over the last decade or so. And with the likes of Wooden Shjips cum Moon Duo trucking about with decent press notice, it would seem a simplified version of those West Coast stalwarts was again in order.
Of Guider’s six tracks, each count a vocal. The 15-minute closer, “Revisiting,” representing Disappears’ aural bent, though, is mostly instrumental. At the three-and-a-half minute mark, the composition sports a few sung/chanted bars from frontman Brian Case (Ponys, 90 Day Men). For the most part, listeners are ostensibly required to wait for the minutiae of derivation from the song’s main statement for entertainment. Every once in a while the bass-line flutters up an octave before again fitting in seamlessly with the rest of the group while occasional drum fills, amounting to a tossed off roll or added in eighth note, serve to differentiate one portion of the track from the next.
In mentioning percussion, it’s endlessly bizarre to think that with all the various avenues people dispense information, Steve Shelley joining and touring with these Chicago based space(d) rock dudes hasn’t impacted digital media at all. Even if the only thing the drummer recorded was last year’s Michael Rother-led Hallogallo single, referenced here on “Halo,” Disappears’ line-up change would be worthy of note. But toss in Shelley’s decades of playing with Sonic Youth and the entire situation amounts to confusing.
With such plainly spoken drum parts – well, all parts – the line-up shift probably doesn’t make too much of a difference other than in a cultural sense. Impactful or not, Guider remains a useful addition to record collections already engorged with repeato-rock’s past royalty. Disappears might not rank alongside a Germanic version of Hawkwind as of yet, but wait another nine months and the group’s next full-length could prove they do.Visit: Disappears | Kranky
Purchase: Insound | eMusic