Alien Trilogy – Snake Trader

Brooklyn trio Alien Trilogy is one of few artists who have successfully brought tabletop electronics into the traditional rock-band paradigm with a result that’s as energetic as it is experimental.

The dense layering of complex noises in the Trilogy’s songs make it difficult for first-time listeners to imagine the chaos emanating from merely a three-piece, but seeing the band live puts that all into perspective. A drummer who sings, a multi-instrumentalist bassist, and a guitarist that sometimes has no guitar and merely manipulates the sounds of circuits with his finger poking into the open back of a fuzz pedal, all these parts contribute to the cacophonic whole that is Alien Trilogy.

This time around with Snake Trader, the band delivers the same heady shit-kickers with a Devo-meets-Vampire-Belt aesthetic in what is easily their most cohesive offering to date. Peppered with psyched-out narrated moments reminiscent of Negativland or Slint, the tape flows through a trippy mindfuck of amped anthems for hell-spawned vintage video games. And then in the later half of the album comes the golden track “Skin Job,” a fuzz-fucked psycho-free-jazz freak-out that set the stage for the post-apocalypse party-rager “Ground Zero Texas.”

And while your brain has barely had the time to catch up to your over-titillated senses, the tape ends with closer track “Bedsores.” Less of an ending and more of a head-on collision, the song ends abruptly, as subsequently the album does, and the dead air that remains leaves a listener’s ears in a post-traumatic disorientation, having forgotten what life sounded like before Snake Trader came into it.

-Duane Reade



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