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Album Spotlight: The Writhing Squares’ 'Out of the Ether'

A sugar-rush basement brew of choogle, slo-mo kraut, and garage cosmic jazz.

Writhing Squares

Out of the Ether

The Writhing Squares’ new LP is a head-bludgeoning shovelful of The Stooges-level primitivism and it thrillingly explodes the notion of what such primitivism should sound like—using a skeletal band construct (overdriven-to-fuzzy bass, sax, flute, drum machine) to create a private little space-rock cosmos lit by the spirits of basement psychedelic alchemists like Madrigal and Michael Yonkers.

Sometimes there’s a whiff of First Issue‑era Public Image Ltd, with Daniel Provenzano standing in for Jah Wobble’s bass, Robert Quine’s guitar, and John Lydon’s nitrous-echo vox all at once. It’s also easy to hear the throbbing economy of early dub. Kevin Nickles’ processed flutes add doses of U.K. pastoral prog. And the convergence of sax and bass filth conjures thoughts of a parallel-universe Fun House.

It’s killer for warding off a truck-stop-coffee crash at 4 a.m.—a trance-y saccharine rush of squalid and transcendent cosmic rock, minus the overt psychedelic trappings.

Must-hear track: “A Whole New Jupiter”

On her new record with her trio, Molly Miller executes a live-feeling work of structural harmony that mirrors her busy life.

Photo by Anna Azarov

The accomplished guitarist and teacher’s new record, like her lifestyle, is taut and exciting—no more, and certainly no less, than is needed.

Molly Miller, a self-described “high-energy person,” is fully charged by the crack of dawn. When Ischeduled our interview, she opted for the very first slot available—8:30 a.m.—just before her 10 a.m. tennis match!

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