Music » Critics' Picks

Sissy Spacek with Panicsville, Foamula and BMBM

Sunday, December 22; Radio Cherokee


Sissy Spacek is not so much a band as an evolutionary step in the changing role of producer as it mutates from sedentary, knob-twiddling hit-maker into a more vicious, predatory animal. The predator in Sissy Spacek is John Wiese, who is somewhere between Phil Spector and the Hillside Strangler on the lethal-cunning scale. Taking as his raw materials Cory Ronnau's electronically processed and enhanced caterwaul and the approaching-critical-mass drums of Danny McClain, Wiese layers, warps, weaves, tears, eviscerates and defenestrates these sounds into a pulsating, shifting cataract of pure, brutal sound. Rather than just overpower the listener with unyielding levels of aural terrorism, Wiese crosscuts and undercuts himself constantly, creating a flurry of start and stop attacks that disorient and amaze.

There is precious little rhyme or reason to the Sissy Spacek experience, but a vast amount of energy is being consumed and spewed back out in terrifying prismatic patterns. Not even the heaviest doses of psychotropic drugs would make Wiese's constructions danceable, but who wants to dance when confronted with the soundtrack of your inner world expanding and contracting with stark finality? This is pop idolatry of a malicious intelligence.

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