Six Organs of Admittance at the Empty Bottle | Concert preview
Ben Chasny shoots for the moon on his latest Drag City LP.
Singer-guitarist Ben Chasny wrote the songs for the latest Six Organs of Admittance album, Ascent, after having a dream about a spaceship being built on a moon. While the lyrics don’t spell out the narrative, they collectively posit a future in which humanity faces such dire straits at home that people are willing to visit Io, one of Jupiter’s moons and the most geologically active body in the solar system.
To fashion music volcanic enough to match this setting, he woke the eruptive combo Comets on Fire from the state of suspended animation it has maintained since 2008. That band’s ear-splitting, psychedelic freak-outs were the stuff of beery legend when Chasny played co-lead guitar, and on Ascent he steers the mood from stratospheric acoustic guitar passages to brute riffing anchored by fuzz bass fat enough to choke a sandworm. Sonically it’s a far cry from the rustic folk moves and airy orchestrations of other recent Six Organs records, but it sustains the thread of an uneasy balance between cosmic and earthly concerns that tie together the group’s discography.
Members of Comets backed Chasny on the West Coast and in Europe earlier this fall, but he’s got a new quartet here stocked with players from Major Stars and Magik Markers. Don’t miss the opening set by the guitar-percussion duo of Scott Tuma and Mike Weis, which could be every bit as rewarding as the headliner’s.