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Ex-Easter Island Head: Lodge – “an ambient, cascading wall of sound”

The Liverpool experimental collective release their most emotional piece of work yet.

Recorded in one take just days before leaving their shared home and rehearsal space at Croxteth Lodge in 2016—Ex-Easter Island Head‘s home for seven years—the Liverpool experimentalists present one of their most astounding pieces in an already defining body of work with Lodge.

Abstaining from their customary template of percussion and mallet struck guitars, Lodge was conceived with harmonium, upright piano and horizontally-laid radio guitar.

The result is an ambient, cascading wall of sound and Ex-Easter Island Head like we’ve never heard before.

Lodge pulls you into Ex-Easter Island Head‘s unique world but the composition is so rich, so sparse, so emotionally vexing that, when listening, you can’t help but take an inward approach to the demons of your own past. Thinking of what’s been lost, where to find that hope for the future?

It’s difficult to fully articulate, such as the weight this piece truly has. It may morph into something completely different in time. The best art often does, shifting the narrative as it pleases.

Whilst inhabiting slightly different stratospheres, abstractly, Lodge isn’t that far removed from Sunn O)))‘s Life Metal insofar as the contrasting experience through listening mediums. Headphones and stereo.

Ex-Easter Island Head: Lodge

Headphones captures the full essence of Lodge. With background noises of birds chirping and dripping water from a leaking roof alongside Benjamin Fair‘s weaving harmonium, these facets make make way for the shimmering frenetic piano from Jonathan Hering.

Hering‘s performance is equally haunting and captivating. It’s swerving improv’ could be likened to a ghoul playing a neglected piano in a seventeenth century discarded tavern as much as it could be mistaken as an arrangement conjured up by some omniscient spirit.

Via stereo, Benjamin Duvall‘s radio guitars provide the shining beacon to Lodge. Filled with sweltering, arching drones, these elements give a new life to the song, pulsating and buckling into something part-angel part-beast.

Both experiences equally beautiful yet function on different ends of the spectrum and only a handful of artists around the world have the technical proficiency to harness these skills.

One could perhaps liken Lodge to a collaboration between The Necks and Jim O’Rourke, but that is doing Ex-Easter Island Head a bit of a disservice, really. They are world-builders in every sense and not many get past the gates which they have erected.

And with that, it’s not a stretch to suggest that Lodge is Ex-Easter Island Head‘s most emotional work to date. It may even be their finest.

Lodge is now available for purchase via Ex-Easter Island Head’s Bandcamp page.

All proceeds from this release will be donated to the charity, Shelter.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

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