Frozen Flowers Curse The Day is the latest release from pioneering avant-guitarist Robert Poss, a founding member of the legendary wall-of-guitars group, Band Of Susans. The album was performed, recorded and mixed by Poss at Trace Elements Records Studios in New York City with guest drummers, including Dahm Majuri Cipolla (Torres, Lydia Lunch, Japan’s Mono) helping out on two tracks.
This eclectic collection of recent work continues Mr. Poss’s obsession with the electric guitar, drones, textures and sonic architecture. Like his previous solo release, Settings – Music For Dance, Film, Fashion and Industry, some of the material was created for the modern dance companies with which Poss has worked for nearly a decade. The album ranges from ambient and experimental instrumental works to Band Of Susans-esque rockers with vocals.
Mr. Poss founded the critically acclaimed Band Of Susans in 1986, described by Rolling Stone as “adamantly arty, brainy, visceral and bracing.” B.O.S. went on to release two E.P.s and five full length albums, produced by Mr. Poss before disbanding in 1995. Before forming the band, he worked with Rhys Chatham and after the group’s split, collaborations with Nicolas Collins, Wire’s Bruce Gilbert, Ben Neill, David Dramm and Phill Niblock followed.
The album’s title cut is a mix of soundscapes and tape loops; atmospheric and soothing; “The Sixth Sense Betrayed” is riff-rock; it has a dramatic build which works in the context of instrumentals (which is not an easy thing to execute) – this track comes to life with vocals added, as it has a very poppy element to it and the harmonies are very subtle; easily, this is an early standout. “Time Frames Marking Time” is a very cinematic piece – lengthy and framed by keyboards, as guitar notes and fragments dip in and out – it has the feel of a scene in a European thriller; “I’ve Got A Secret List” has a trebly guitar opening, a cascade of rolling drum patterns and sparse vocals and “Sketch 72” is pure rock with a clean, 2 guitar track in a very Stones-y manner, especially with the slide guitar punctuations.
Because Mr. Poss is so adept at melody and texture, this album is very strong – and when works are not driven by songs with vocals on every track, it’s quite an achievement. There’s a lot to take from and absorb and makes this a very fine offering from Robert Poss.
Frozen Flowers Curse The Day is currently available