Rella the Woodcutter – The Golden Undertow (LP Boring Machines)

Rella the Woodcutter goes from doing a 7” then an EP to this his first full length release on Boring Machines.  Rella’s days with the Rotten Wine Company has seen him on many releases and moving through many different styles from drone to free-rock to experimental. The Golden Undertow though sees Rella in full psych-folk mode.

The Golden Undertow is 10 songs of primarily sad sounding guitar based pieces with spacious arrangements where the sparse instrumentation works beautifully. The most obvious and immediate comparison you can made to this is Skip Spence’s album, Oar. It has a very similar feel and a very similar sound with its slow melancholic and gentle tunes. There’s touches of other influences in here. A tiny bit of apocalyptic era Current 93 crops up on Leave Your Home and the drums of Bonobo are straight out of one of the Velvets Underground’s softer moments.

The surprise of the album is Drugtime Family. the last piece on the album. Much fuller in sound and more perhaps West Coast sounding than the more introspective others with its layers of electric guitar lines. It’s a nice uplifting end to the album. DB