(Late 2013 Album Review) Open Marriage- Incredible Universe

At Vol. 4 of Meanwhile, Elsewhere…, last May, I was treated to another night of great music, along with an otherwordly laser show. Maybe the best performance of the night though came from the closer, an almost majestic half-hour squalling wall of guitar noise from Open Marriage, the project of Reese Lopez. I found Reese to be very polite and friendly, and I thought I’d rep him here. He even gifted me with one of his tapes!

Open Marriage is another really satisfying contribution to American drone. Like Evan Caminiti and Pete Swanson, Reese makes music that’s ear-destroyingly cacophonous, yet also has an odd sort of sublime beauty to it. Extremities create beauty. Open Marriage is a good example of extreme music that goes the route of meditation, of concentrated listening. Particularly interesting is the track “Concrete Box” from Incredible Universe, an album he made last fall. Even for a genre in which harshness is the norm, Open Marriage can be absolutely blistering. A lot of American drone (maybe because there’s a lot of crossover between hippies and noise fans) is a contemplative walk in the woods– much of the time, Open Marriage is a trip through a hellish inorganic landscape. However, the ringing finale of this album, “Outliers”, manages to bring this trip, at least on this album, to a somewhat hopeful conclusion.

If you go to Reese’s Bandcamp, you will see that he’s offered his online releases at “name your price”. Check them out as soon as you can! Happy listening.


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