Thurston Moore has a long history in improvising rock settings, and the Bark Haze adds to his discography in a duo with Andrew Macgregor (Gown) occassionally performing with Pete Nolan, heard on the recent Vanishing Voice/Stone Plate release. The name comes from the group Bar-Kays, a radical 70's R&B group, whose name upon hearing it Moore and Macgregor mistook for Bark Haze; this became a base concept in the improviser's arsenal of presenting thei "mis-hearings" through musical dialog. Primarily a Massachusetts based performance band, they're set to tour the UK this year (2007) at Thruston Moore's curated The Nightmare Before Christmas event.
"This Bark Haze disc is a slow boiler. Thurston Moore and Gown's guitars are set against a backdrop of edge of consciousness drone as the two players bust some restrained and truly innovative fret work. Though the Bark Haze have jammed with others in the past, here it is just the two guitars recorded in stark fidelity.
The album is split into two long pieces. The first "Punchline 1" is the most minimal. Though the music here sounds improvised, it is clear that a lot of duo mind-meld concentration has gone into the sounds on this track. Each touch of those steely live-wire strings is considered. The track builds from shifting crackles and tentative figures into a wiry almost raga.
"Punchline 2" begins in a similar fashion. A crackling guitar sound is alloyed with a distorted synth like drone to create a menacingly charged atmosphere. These guys have some totally amazing guitar peddles and they know how to use 'em.
"Total Joke Era" is a really exciting guitar album, alive with improvisational energy and expertly directed creative impulses. Total heat."-Cola Nitida, Foxy Digitalis