Keiji Haino and Sumac
American Dollar Bill


4.6
superb

Review

by Aaron W. STAFF
February 24th, 2018 | 43 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Heavier than a death in the family (revision)

In the age where unions of one's wildest dreams come true, Keiji Haino and Sumac's collaborative effort American Dollar Bill - Keep Looking Sideways, You're Too Hideous to Look at Face On is dangerous, destructive, burning, with no fucks to be offered to a weary onlooker. For those expecting a good time: you are getting something you will struggle with at first, Haino's influence being very apparent — from the album title, and all the way to the format of the group's songs. Sumac fans: you may (not) like this record for this reason alone. Haino fans: this is yet another Keiji Haino work, and at this point, you ought to have an idea of what the guitarist's aim on American Dollar Bill is; it's not going to be the same old, same old but it'll be a Keiji Haino record nonetheless.

American Dollar Bill's devotion lies in the artists' abilities to follow Haino's highly improvisational song structure and use of dynamics; the album's title track focuses entirely on setting this pattern in motion with no regard to proper accessibility nor conventional sounds, with Haino's guttural shrieks juxtaposing with Sumac's overdriven thrashing before moving onto another section of the piece. One moment, you are offered a vague moment of gentle salvation, the next you're thrown into the fiery pits of whatever godforsaken circle of hell Haino and co. currently occupy. But that's okay; it's only the beginning — you've yet to hear the other four slabs of distorted riffage they have to offer. Riffage is putting it nicely, when for a matter of fact, it's a blistering onslaught of notes strung together so perfectly with the equally fierce work of Aaron Turner to compliment Haino's often-barked, seldom-whined vocals.

Haino and company rarely follow the same formula with each passing song, taking the time to find ways to distinguish each one from one another; but with the multi-part "I'm Over 137% A Love Junkie and Still It's Not Enough," the band finds itself not in a rut, but in a groove of some kind. They take their time getting to their destination, with Haino often being the guide — throat-shredding howls none withstanding — to reaching the next part of their slow burned and twisted route from dissonance to chaos. Yet, what happens when the final segment "What Have I Done" (I Was Reeling In Something White and I Became Able To Do Anything I Made a Hole Imprisoned Time Within It Created Friction Stopped Listening To Warnings Ceased Fixing My Errors Made the Impossible Possible" Turned Sadness Into Joy) Pt. II" comes around to let Haino and co. that all things must come to an end" Well, they leave all restraint into the ether and unleash such a fearsome assault on an audience both willing to receive it and greatly aware of the discomforting qualities the music contains. It's a epilogue to fifty-plus minutes of unending nervosity and raw power that leaves one in awe at what they're hearing. I am not a verbose man, but to describe this group's efforts as excellent or even superb doesn't do their record proper. American Dollar Bill is the record to the end of the world, maybe even to the world as it is right now. If it makes you afraid, then that's very okay. They probably want it that way.




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user ratings (51)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2018


18642 Comments

Album Rating: 4.6

a o t y s f



I'm Over 137% A Love Junkie And Still It's Not Enough Pt 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaHulEEk1Us

Digging: Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson - Bridges

Astral Abortis
February 24th 2018


6745 Comments


Man this is a combo I did not expect

Astral Abortis
February 24th 2018


6745 Comments


First track is pretty good, but that's mostly because it sounds almost all Haino and no SUMAC.

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2018


18642 Comments

Album Rating: 4.6

I resisted to mention the Scott Walker/Sunn O))) collab from few years ago because I feel this is a similar record in which the legend of the pair (Haino in Walker's place this time; although it's arguable Aaron Turner is a legend in his own right thanks to Isis) has the creative advantage and Sumac (in Sunn O)))'s place) is the backing band in a way, although has some input to the record.

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2018


2711 Comments


I have no clue what this is but you made it sound cool. :]

Digging: Bomb the Music Industry! - Scrambles

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2018


18642 Comments

Album Rating: 4.6

If burning in eternal damnation sounded cool, yes!

zaruyache
February 24th 2018


20899 Comments


wowie will check

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2018


9483 Comments


Your rating Fripp : ]

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2018


15861 Comments


I hovered an accumulated time of 5 minutes over this to see what it was about.

I need to find the time, space and mood for this.



Digging: Fire! Orchestra - Arrival

Relinquished
February 24th 2018


39953 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol great av fripp



yea space and mood for this, this was a real treat for me

butcherboy
February 24th 2018


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

summary sold me completely.. On rotation today

robin
Emeritus
February 24th 2018


4570 Comments


this is so good. sumac sound so psyched to be doing something with haino, feel like you can really hear the responsiveness

rabidfish
February 24th 2018


5099 Comments


ok u sold me man... I didn't care much for Sumac's last efforts but will give this a go.

Digging: Organ Tapes - Hunger In Me Living

Astral Abortis
February 24th 2018


6745 Comments


bandcamp link in the review

Gbhill
February 24th 2018


133 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm a big fan of Sumac but have to say that first track nearly made me turn off the album. It's exactly what I fear with these improv collabs...very little structure and a lot of constipated vocal ramblings. However, the tracks that follow do have moments. Particularly "I'm over 137%..." is rather interesting. Ultimately, I'd rather listen to What One Becomes repeatedly though which was a much bigger step forward for the band.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2018


8943 Comments


Lot of long songs and a possibly divisive style, I dunno about this. Wasn't crazy about SUMAC to begin with

calmrose
February 24th 2018


4795 Comments


this rules hard

Digging: At the Drive-In - Relationship of Command

Astral Abortis
February 24th 2018


6745 Comments


Anything with Keiji Haino is a bigger step forward for the band than any bloated crap they'd come up with themselves. And let it be known this album is first and foremost a Haino album, not a Sumac one


rabidfish
February 24th 2018


5099 Comments


sumac are mediocre, and this is nothing like the rest of their discog.

Which is a really good thing.

PistolPete
February 24th 2018


4986 Comments


Whew I do not think this will be for me



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