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David Yow
Tonight You Look Like A Spider Nick Hutchings , September 18th, 2013 06:20

Clearly reinvigorated by The Jesus Lizard reunion, their singer David Yow has mustered together a guitar, a keyboard and a beat up old drum kit (although it could equally be pots and pans found in his kitchen) to make what is less an album more a piece of music with leanings towards contemporary composition.

Eschewing the stock four letter word album titles of The Jesus Lizard albums Goat, Head, Down and so forth, this is called Tonight You Look Like A Spider, which could easily have been a lyric in his former incarnation.

In recent years Yow has taken up painting, and his interest in visual art is seen in the limited edition vinyl copies of this record are encased in individually sculpted 12” tombstones.

Tonight You Look Like A Spider is gloomy and sinister but also majestic - the big drum beats are like the footsteps of an approaching monster, yet these contrast with plinky plonky piano that evokes Alice Through The Looking Glass. If you were to lobotomise David Yow this is the soundtrack to what you’d see inside, a hotch-potch of cartoonish chaos. On 'Roundhouse' with its unnerving cat mewing and ESP voices in the machine it is reminiscent of the earliest drum machine driven Jesus Lizard material, but elsewhere this is a mystical venture to a new darker fairy tale of a place.

There is one thing conspicuous by its absence on this record, however. It is, of course, what you might consider to be the strongest weapon in David Yow’s arsenal – his voice. And yet, despite its absence, this is an arresting and liberating new listen. The only voices that you do hear are samples and distorted ones at that. Dark, slightly daft humour is another constituent part of The Jesus Lizard and is discernible here in the song titles 'Bleth My Thoul' and 'Intermission (Lawrence Of A Labia)'.

Tonight, You Look Like A Spider is an all-encompassing experience, one to be enjoyed as the darkness creeps in earlier and earlier during this season. With the work of his first band Scratch Acid, the logical progression into The Jesus Lizard, then the sideways lurch to abstract painting and now impressionistic overtures shows that David Yow is a capable artist working across the board to thrilling, at times disturbing, effect. Although you wouldn’t necessarily want to live in David Yow’s brain, it’s certainly an intriguing place to visit.