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  The Ivy  
  The Great Saunites  
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The Great Saunites are a duo from Italy who make odd music that is a kind of jazzy and kind of math-rock-ish at times. And you know how odd Italian bands like EvilSponge, so of course they sent us a promo.

And it's really pretty good. It is a little weird, but it takes classic math rock (think early Rodan), Krautrock (especially Can), and late 60s psychedelic and mixes it all together. I guess the closest thing that compares is Tortoise, but The Great Saunites are far more spastic.

The thing is, the band is a duo, and i am not sure how that works out musically. There is prominent drumming, so someone is doing that. Then there is guitarwork, spastic and grinding along, so someone is doing that. Then most of the songs also layer in organ drones. Who plays the organ? Is that sequenced? Is the drummer playing one hand on the drums and one on the organ? I can't visualize this... But i guess i am thinking of a live performance. In the studio, sure they can record one part then layer in the other.

Anyway, i find that a little odd.

There are five songs in about 38 minutes here. Let's examine them.

The whole release starts with an awesome guitar riff in Cassandra. The guitar is slightly distorted and bluesy, like something Tommy Iommi would have played on the first couple of Black Sabbath Records. The guitar positively squeals its way through this, backed by a steady drum beat and a subtle organ drone. The overall effect is of some acid-addled late 60s freakout, man!

A sample of chanting in a foreign language kicks of Medjugorje. Shortly a distorted guitar riff is layered over, grinding under some fuzzy distortion. The drums kick in, spastic, feverish, and the organ drone is back. The band jams on this for eight minutes, guitar and organ and percussion going all over the place.

Bottles & Ornaments starts with a some kind of distorted reversed voice bit, organ drone, and the guitar playing long bluesy notes like something from early Pink Floyd. Drumming thumps in and out of this mind trip of a tune, which kind of floats around for just over three and a half minutes. The Great Saunites follow up with another short tune, Ocean Raves, this one just an acoustic guitar playing away, strummed and plinked.

And then we have the albumís closer, The Ivy which clocks in at 19:51. It is not the noodley 20 minute type of song that Landing do, but 20 minutes of steady progression, the various parts looping around each other, drums, guitar, keyboards all circling. It's pretty a pretty fascinating jam. After 10 minutes, a voice comes in, and the song becomes vaguely gothy, with really intense drumming! And then it goes through a period where the keys are doing improv jazz, just seemingly random noise stuff, and then it all wraps up with some Pink Floyd-ish strumming similar to the previous tune. A pretty fascinating progression, and the Great Saunites really make it work.

Overall, this is pretty interesting. It is kind of mathy, kind of psychedelic, and kind of jazzy all at the same time. It will not appeal to everyone, but it is pretty diffferent. I would say that i haven't heard anything exactly like this before, and that is saying something. They manage to pull it off too.

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Artist: In Italian)


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