Critic's Pick: Amen Dunes

By Elliott Sharp
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Nov. 2, 2011

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When Damon McMahon (i.e. Amen Dunes) retreated to the Catskill Mountains with guitars and a recording device, he returned with a scrappy, gnarled psychedelic-folk/rock record called Dia. Moved by the moaning mouths of mountain monsters, his vision was frenzied and disjointed. With traces of early T. Rex, early Stones, and early Pretty Things, coiling electric-axes and ghoul-voices rumbled and screamed. It’s endlessly beautiful and completely dangerous. After fleeing to China for a spell, Amen Dunes recently returned with Through Donkey Jaw. Pandemonium still reigns, but it sounds like McMahon discovered concord and jeweled secrets in the East. Tracks like “Baba Yaga” and “Lower Mind” whirl with densely layered 1960s psychedelia, but less bad-vibe ooze coats the twisted path. The hero cautiously follows the trail, hunting the unknown enemy. They connect on dungeon dirge “Not A Slave,” as a war between Damon and his own goddamn shadow ensues. Who wins?

Sun., Nov 6, 7:30pm. $6. With Noveller + Dan Matz. Highwire Gallery, 2040 Frankford Ave. 215.426.2685.

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1. Fire Museum Presents said... on Nov 2, 2011 at 10:04AM

“Noveller dropped out of this tour - playing instead is Daniel Bachman (who used to perform and record under the name Sacred Harp).”


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