July 6, 2010

Racoo-oo-oon – Behold Secret Kingdom
experimental-rock, free-folk

There’s an almost shamanistic quality to Behold Secret Kingdom, the 2007 release by psychedelic freak-rockers Racoo-oo-oon. Blending together a combination of druggy basslines, guitars that bounce from melodic lines to seeming random clashes (there’sRaccoo-oo-oon - Behold Secret Kingdom definitely some early Sonic Youth influences in there), nonsensically chanted vocals, krautrock rhythms and hazy, primitive production, and then channeling it all through a lost-in-the-woods-at-night-but-quite-happy-to-be-there kind of vibe, the group manage to achieve a sound that feels ritualistic and quite Earthy. It’s the type of sound that free-folk and New Weird America groups like Sunburned Hand of the Man and Jackie-O Motherfucker would produce if you were to push their free-flowing musical aesthetics to their logical extremes. While the album sports a bit of a crazy, untamed sound, to the listener’s benefit it all falls on the accessible side of sheer madness, and there’s even some nice segments like the crescendo at the end of “Visage of the Fox” which feel like clever twists on the familiar post-rock playbook. It’s a must-hear for any fans of instrumental, guitar-based music who’d like to try something a little stranger than the norm. Face paint, bonfires and howling at the moon are optional, but recommended.