Listen: Earth’s Primitive New Stunner
If you’ve ever rearranged your furniture, you know how hard it can be to move a heavy object just a tiny distance. Especially on carpet. Sure, to push it across the room is easy once you get going, but to push hard enough to budge it yet stop it two inches away? Ugh. That drives ya crazy. Such is what must face bands that play at a glacially low pace: It’s as much about not playing as it is about playing. Between strokes, a listener can feel the players holding back, waiting counterintuitively — and sometimes unsuccessfully. The strain is noticeable, and basically opposite and equal to that of a band playing too fast. Each feels off. Like moving furniture two inches at a time.
But on their new album Primitive And Deadly, the band Earth is like its namesake: moving imperceptibly, shimmery and sad, totally natural, and astonishingly balanced. While playing, Primitive doesn’t drag like a school day; it is deliberate but doesn’t feel like it’s using much of your time. It basically has you humming its riffs on your first listen (via beautiful notes and freaking magic tone) and its tempos are waves that never break. It’s like Earth was hired to score a fancy art film by a dude with the sensibilities of Stanley Kubrick and the taste of David Lynch, but the resulting soundtrack was so vivid and expressive that the movie suddenly became unnecessary. Primitive says it all, no visuals needed. And that’s even before a pair of dark vocals from unrepentant album-improver Mark Lanegan (Queens Of The Stone Age, Mad Season) on either side of metal’s introduction to singer Rabia Qazi, whose band Rose Windows I bet counts Chino Moreno as a fan. U jam!