Endation Does Duo (The Absence of Everything)

Well, I guess the absence of color is black. Though my niece, Celia, says, “Yeah, it’s a color.” So yes, Endation is a color, very basic black. Anthony Ants Conley does four-string guitar; Matt Graber does drums. And they do just about everything, so you could say it is a blinding white.

The Absence of Everything has a varied twelve songs, with tinges of Roots era Sepultura. But they get darkly mellow and electro-funky, too. The sound is much bigger than the two instruments. The duo weaves a warped complexity, undoing itself and threading itself back together. Conley has a quiet desperation to his voice, on the verge of screams, and then agonized love sickness, and sometimes just a seductive plea.

Drums peak out like pythons in the jungle, while the guitar sits neatly in the trees, like a three-toed sloth. Other times, they bounce around like a cue ball in bumper pool, falling into psychedelic holes.

Rhythms are abrupt, flowing, and then stop/starting, climbing and chugging like the little engine that could. This album brings us back to the age of super groups that ended with U2’s Achtung Baby. It’s got that same German cosmopolitan feel, with some touches of Krautrock, and the ‘70s’ genre’s patchwork quality. But it’s a sleeker, modern sound in the upshot.

It’s also got the quiet suppleness of a Folk Implosion or a Sebadoh, giving it connections to indie rock as well. It’s dramatic, plangent, and plaintive, but always calm and relaxing, somehow. I don’t know how these guys do it, get noise and make you feel like you’ve had a sedative. Must be some kind of homeopathic sound medicine.

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