Abronia are a rather sombre and serious-looking six-piece combo from Portland, and here’s their second LP The Whole Of Each Eye (FEEDING TUBE RECORDS FTR498) which arrives in a fairly portentous cover, almost like a poster for a movie by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Come to that their music tends to pack the same kind of punch – plenty of drama and implied violence, in both the playing and the singing.
Can’t find out much about the names of those involved, although the lead singer may be named Keelin; she’s got the kind of stern delivery and withering gaze in song that curdles the marrow, yet she’s also capable of wrapping her tones around a sensitive and compassionate ballad when the occasion demands it. The sleeve notes by the resident FTR expert invite comparisons with Nico and Garboe, a list to which I personally would add Patti Smith; Keelin has a similar hectoring tone, and a penchant for sometimes over-stating the case. The band are heavy hitters, for sure; plenty of guitar action, often quite “symphonic” in nature with its crescendos and sudden eruptions into Wagnerian excess, The fact that only one drum is used – a bass drum at that – may account for the sometimes doomy mood of their sound, and often they come across like a herd of Mongolian exiles laying waste to what’s left of a mythical desert with scimitars and fiery torches.
This one is co-released with Cardinal Fuzz in the UK; their previous release, from 2017, is called Obsidian Visions / Shadowed Lands. (15/09/2019)