BLACKBIRD RAUM: False Weavers: LP

Before even throwing this platter on the turntable, I’m struck by the intricate pen drawings that span its cover. A giant wolf and Cthulhu tree people lay a city to waste as methane and smoke plume from crumbled buildings; a military troop struggle for ground. Like the musical accompaniment to a fantasy novel, a fold-out map duplicates the cover’s preternatural bent with a crisp, detailed topography. The map loosely corresponds to tracks listing an actual HakimBay and Kropotkingrad, as well as The River of Filth and Fukushima Hulk, depicting a depressing crater. Raum amplifies the theme of rebellious hobbits taking part in anarchic revolution with liner notes quoting pieces on the French Anarchist Revolution to Michael Moorcock. Like anything off Arkam records, this five-piece employs a menagerie of folk punk instrumentations with washtub bass, pump organ, washboard and saw, plus novelties like a pump action shot gun and bouzouki. Vacillating between male and female vocals, “False Weavers” pulls in Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” with mandolin and female vocals in the spotlight, while “The Greymare parts 1, 2 & 3” are melodic, rapid-fire spoken word anthems, like a Henry Rollins record set on 45 RPM. Recommended.

 –Kristen K (Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club)