Jesse Jarnow

“freckle wars” – ecstatic sunshine

“Freckle Wars” – Ecstatic Sunshine (download here)
from Freckle Wars (2006)
released by Car Park (buy)

(file expires August 28th)

Maybe my favorite moment on Sonic Youth’s Murray Street is at the very end of “Rain On Tin,” when the drums and the bass drop out, leaving only Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, and Jim O’Rourke’s guitars. For about 30 seconds, transcendent electric guitar arpeggios wrap around one another. The Baltimore duo Ecstatic Sunshine — just two dudes with axes, man — take that moment and derive an entire sound. Their MySpace page declares them to be “Black Metal / Trance / Jam Band,” which isn’t too far from the truth, either. .

The delirious two minute title track from their joyously slim debut, Freckle Wars is probably all one need know about Ecstatic Sunshine. From the first beat, it’s busy and chiming, like the Allman Brothers without all the extraneous drummers, bassists, organists, and predilections towards sounding soulful. Notes scamper and dive, chase one another through the air, and drop into rhythm parts when necessary, all while forging a sense of movement. Mixing the psychedelic punk jams of Television and Sonic Youth with post-White Stripes minimalism and hippie goodness, Freckle Wars is one of the most refreshing debuts of the year.

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