Bill Orcutt Ė How the Thing Sings (CD Editions Mego)

Bill Orcutt made his name playing guitar with, for want of a better description, noise rock band, Harry Pussy. They split back in 1997/8 and Bill went into film making, coming back to music in 2009.

Iím not sure how this album of acoustic guitar fits into the Mego catalogue as Iíve always associated them with experimental electronics and you canít get much further away from that than an acoustic guitar album.

The album itself sounds like it was recorded live in one take with a single microphone rather than bit by bit in a studio with overdubs etc. The first obvious influence you notice is Derek Bailey. It hits you almost immediately from the opening few chords.  Bill puts a huge amount of energy into his playing going through a huge range of styles and emotions from gentle plucking and soft strumming to more complex full on dissonance and technically challenging picking.  You can hear Bill getting lost in his own world as he moans and makes guttural noises along with the tracks.

Iím not generally a huge fan of solo acoustic guitar finding a lot of it gets to sound very samey and lacking any edge. Thereís no danger of that here as there is such a huge variety of styles and sounds that your ears are constantly adjusting to what is coming out of your speakers.

Whilst I still donít know where this fits into the Mego scheme of things Iím glad theyíve released this as itís one of the more refreshing releases Iíve heard this year. DB