Above all, June Of 44 sound [I]serious[/I]. There’s nothing remotely enjoyable about jolting, awkward time-signatures, and that’s just the way they like it. This is rock with the moody petulance of jazz, the logic of advanced calculus, the glamour of a kettle.
It’s difficult and they make you [I]work[/I], hence they’ve been tune-hating post-rock snob favourites since way back, when certain members grappled manfully with the Slint formula, as Rodan.
To give them credit, June Of 44 have developed to the point where they inhabit a uniquely jagged sonic universe. With last year’s ‘Four Great Points’ LP it was raging riffs clashing with the odd dub throb. With ‘Anahata’ it’s a sustained experiment in spindly Sonic Youth guitar flickers and avant-funk grooves, twisted into something discordant by Jeff Mueller’s deranged moan.
There are moments – the doomy spasms of ‘Cardiac Atlas’, the precision beats of ‘Equators To Bipolar’ where they lock into spiralling, intricate rhythms, reminiscent of Television’s early-’90s comeback album. But like that record, ‘Anahata’ reminds you that this kind of art rock represents a wilful stripping away of all that made ’70s new wave compelling – vital melodies, guitars that exploded instead of duelling hesitantly – until the bare bones of the music are exposed.
Some might say it’s the only way rock can progress. Others would say it sounds like its death knell.