Anyone brave enough to sail those spaceways should be heartily saluted.
Live, [a]Papa M[/a]’s muscular evisceration of post-rock’s ponging corpse is a joy to behold. While guitarist Dave Pajo‘s (ex-[a]Slint[/a]/Tortoise/Royal Trux – you hum it, he’ll take a session fee) recorded works have been uniformly inspiring in their austere approach to form-buggery, live they breath fire.
It could be that Pajo has finally hit on a line-up that’s capable of keeping up with the flurry of stellar weaving shapes that pulse from his six steel strings. Indeed, tonight’s fireworks are largely down to the presence of new second guitarist Alan Licht, previously of Lovechild, Run On and countless other one-off tag-team pairings. He brings a real rock-edge to the group’s jamming, watching Pajo for the slightest of signals before breaking free with quicksilver fret runs and snappy crushes of power chords.
When they both fall into the rapturous waves of The Byrds‘ ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’ the effect is truly levitational. It’s not all ecstatic peaks, though. Some of the extended instrumentals do sound occasionally uninspired, but these are minor blips. In full flow their weaving guitar flights recall the rocking splendour of Television‘s seminal New York art-rock document ‘Marquee Moon’. Anyone brave enough to sail those spaceways should be heartily saluted.