[sic] Magazine

Abronia – The Whole Of Each Eye

In the ritualistic depths of Portland, experimental outfit Abronia huddle round a particularly heady brew. After a proggy debut keen on reflective instrumentals, into the six-piece’s psychedelic cauldron this time around go more complex hybrid structures, eye of newt (well not quite, but Abronia is a kind of lizard), a growing dependence too on low-register incantation and Keelin Mayer’s out-there tenor sax. And Mayer makes her mark quickly and thoroughly, The Whole Of Each Eye an extra-strength batch that delivers unexpected highs and crushing comedowns in equal measure.

Free-form rhythms consequently snake between dusty pueblos and rumbling thunder, Mayer’s impassioned vocal duetting with mournful pedal steel and the cinematic twanging of lonely guitar. Reverbed menace hangs in the air, the oppressive “Rope Of Fire” dabbling in doom-folk, black jazz and blatant drone simultaneously before fading out to blissful meditation. The countrified shuffles of “Cross The Hill” then make the most of Billy Anderson’s heavy mix to plug in for a distorted finale that forebodes all the tension and action of a High Noon shoot-out.

Continuing a theme, monumental percussion rolls in to that track’s dreamy successor like the iron horse in Once Upon A Time In The West, while “Half Hail” is a spaghetti-sized groover in turn that flexes its percussive muscle to contort into a jammy freaky-out. Somewhat inevitably then riding off into the sunset, we’re left only with some higher-plane initiation-rite looped to play as an indefinite dirge. Leave well alone and let this hell-broth boil and bubble for this charm is firm and good.

~The Whole Of Each Eye is released 25th October 2019 via Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube records.~