Tabs Out | Ley Lines – This Rock in My Kitchen Used to Have a Purpose

Ley Lines – This Rock in My Kitchen Used to Have a Purpose

10.19.20 by Ryan Masteller

When guitarist Noah Depew and drummer Jayson Gerycz got together as Ley Lines (with Doug Gent on occasional sax), they did so without having to wear masks or wipe down door handles or groceries. This was 2019, people, the very last year where we didn’t have to worry about which germs were going to kill us first! So they could enter the same confined studio (or practice, or whatever) space together, and hover as close to each other as they wanted to (well, Depew could – drummers can’t really hover). They could spend hours in that confined space. They could crank out a massive amount of tunes.

I don’t know how much content Depew and Gerycz (and Gent) actually generated, but what ended up on “This Rock in My Kitchen Used to Have a Purpose” sticks us right in the middle of their recording process. Like, almost literally – if by literally I mean not really at all but only seeming like it. I feel like I’m also hovering there in the room over the kit, as Depew ventures closer, scratching and clawing at his guitar strings while Gerycz smacks at the different parts of his kit, trying to wrangle as many disparate percussive sounds as he can before everybody falls over in exhaustion and all the screws come out of the instruments. There are elements of Bill Orcutt meeting Claire Rousay, but then it doesn’t sound like that at all, just bubbles of whatever that amazing weirdness would sound like. (And it sounds like Ley Lines sometimes.)

So what purpose could that kitchen rock even have had? I guess you can cook things on really hot rocks, but I’m not really sure that’s the ticket (although “This Rock” does, indeed, “cook”). Paperweight? Knife sharpener? Who knows. Maybe the kitchen is actually the wreckage of a kitchen, and the rock smashed it all up. That’s actually what I’m going to go with, especially with the way “Peer-to-Peer Performance” ends the tape on an indoor-tornado-like note. Everybody’s arms spinning out everywhere, guitar necks bending like they’re made of gelatin. Wild stuff.

Edition of 100 available from Sonnedecker

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