Band To Watch

Band To Watch: Sightings

It would be pretty misleading to call Sightings new– the NYC trio’s six albums deep into their post-Pussy Galore DNA shredding. But with the forthcoming Through The Panama, their strongest album so far, the boys are ready to leap beyond the noise scene to a larger audience (think Wolf Eyes, Lighting Bolt, or Pissed Jeans’ ascension, for instance). Their last dispatch, 2004’s Arrived In Gold, included plenty of muster (seek out “Internal Compass”), but with Panama, Sightings drop the junkyard-gazing tangents, putting the pedal to the metal with a murky, angular full-speed assault.

[L to R: Richard Hoffman, Jonathan Lockie, Mark Morgan]

Sightings – “Perforated” (MP3)

There are still detours, rattling-change loops, and disemboweled Whitehouse drifts, but from the mono-paranoia of opener “A Rest” to the under-sewage gurgle of “Cloven Hoofs” and slicing no wave groove of “Perforated,” the compacted swagger of guitar, bass, drums, and voice (with occasional piano) is at its thickest. Credit should go to Andrew W.K., who mixed/produced the 10 tracks. Before you start shouting about “Party Hard” (which rules by the way), remember Mr. W.K. was in an early NYC incarnation of Wolf Eyes and knows his ways around a feedback drift and ten-shard pile-up. Also recalling some old timey New York, Chavez/Oldham/Zwan (and occasional Cat Power) fret man Matt Sweeney adds guest guitar on a creepy, clanging (and then catchy) cover of the 1978 Walker Brothers track “The Electrician.”

Definitely a Band To Watch live, vocalist/guitarist Mark Morgan (ah, those Big Black intonations) is one of the most intelligently uncompromising front folks in the scene — right up there with Elisa Ambrogio, whose Magik Markers have also come (massively) into their own recently. Can we get some sorta post-punk noise duet, you two?

Through The Panama is out 10/23 on Load. Or, you can grab it as a double gatefold LP on Ecstatic Peace.