[$5 CAD // Edition of 80 // https://talkingskullmtl.bandcamp.com/album/ts012-will-austin-2014-will-austin-polemicalblues]
Full disclosure, this was the second cassette release I listened to from Talking Skull, the first being Sun Brimmer, and when I saw the name Will Austin I made the mistake of assuming that this would be singer/songwriter type of bedroom folk simply because it was first name + last name. I'm actually glad that it wasn't, not because I don't like all those things I wrote back there but because it just means that it's keeping on my toes.
This cassette begins with the sounds of water. There are acoustic guitar notes and birds chirping before we go back to the water. In some ways I think of this as being like a Koi pond only just some other relaxing, small body of water you can sit by and listen to birds. (It has to be fairly quiet nearby for the birds to not fly away, you see) After an audio clip we are taken from that happy place of sorts (Feel free to think of it next time you are scared) into the dark abyss. It's that ambience filled with darkness that reminds me of instrumental Nine Inch Nails (see: "The Fragile") taking us into the void.
On the flip side we begin with some ambient sounds before shifting into rhythmic, tribal steel drum banging. It gets fast and intense and there are pained screams. After audio clips come Transformers sound and a bit of chaos, which seems to be a fitting end to this
While the first side speaks for itself (being ripped from your happy place into somewhere you never want to be) the second side has a different vibe to it, a different story. I've watched a lot of sci-fi movies because of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and just because I like them and even though I can't place the exact movie I feel like it might be one of them.
As the drums beat and the screams come all I can imagine every time I hear it is someone on a table of some kind (perhaps a slab of rock, tied down) surrounded by a group of people in robes with hoods over their heads. Is it a ritual sacrifice? Is it an initiation into a secret society? I'm not quite sure, but it gets the mind wandering and those creative juices flowing and that, in this mundane world, can never be a bad thing.