This ain't a scene, it's a bottomless, underground-market glut: '00s noise upstarts spinning off fly-by-night collabos à la '80s Marvel Comics limited series. Members of dronecore sorcerers Double Leopards and ever-metamorphizing duo Mouthus teamed up previously as White Rock and, in 2005, released Tarpit (named after the studio the two NYC-based bands share) an underrated sinkhole of a record into which the Leopards' hypnotic sound layering sucked the listener before feeding him, millimeter by millimeter, into Mouthus' tormented-soul apple-press. By contrast, Religious Knives present themselves as a distinct, autonomous entity; Remains liberates the barely released efforts of Leopards Mike Bernstein and Maya Miller, and Mouthus' Nate Nelson, from collector-scum limbo. Nelson's choppy percussion, reminiscent of the intro to P.J. Harvey's "Rid of Me," lays a foundation for the repetitive organ and keyboard mantras "Bind Them" eventually erects, then condenses into a crackling, unbroken wave. Darker, heavier, and hissier, "Electricity and Air" drags itself forward on clouded guitar chords like a disconsolate, stoned Snuffleupagus. "The Train" is almost New Age experimental, as curious, Lite-Brite freon keyboards lap idly at cymbal brushing, and a male voice wordlessly levitates in the daydreamy center. Religious Knives can only intrigue further, and we can only hope that this project is something more than a distraction for its participants.
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