The Russian Association Of Independent Genres (R.A.I.G.) label has been making a name for themselves with the artists on their roster whose music largely falls into the space / psychedelic and experimental rock category. However one band in their stable, Won James Won, which is a collective of various Russian musicians, has been cooking up their own unique brand of sonic anarchy for a few years now. Their 3rd disc The Hollow Grail was initially recorded in various locations around Russia in 2005-2007 with these recordings then being re-worked and manipulated in the studio afterwards. The end result is a studio album which in essence also captures the improvisational energy of their live performances.
Over the course of the twenty songs featured here, which almost all segue into each other giving the listener the feeling of one seamless composition, the band does venture out into some very adventurous and strange musical terrain with their abrasive, industrial style assault. Samplers, turntables along with modified vocals provide a good majority of the sonic backdrop as the guitars, keyboards and electronic- acoustic percussion all weave in and out of the mix. The band delivers an inspired balance between twisted ambience ("Tapeworm Delivery", "Terror Terabytes of Lucy" and "Liquid Enemies are Inside The Hangar Already) and cacophonic, explosive industrial mayhem on such tracks as "Annus Confusionis", "Dick Decorating Knife" and "Paleolithic Seascape". Won James Won's sound has hints of early Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle as well as another collective from the early 90's who have treaded similar ground musically, Pigface. Take those influences, mix it all together with a few tabs of acid and you've got the soundtrack for Alejandro Jodorowsky's next film.
If industrial, avant-garde sounds are what you seek then Won James Won have got all the bases covered on The Hollow Grail. One word of caution though, as this clocks in at eighty minutes you might want to reconsider digesting this in its entirety in one listening session, unless that is you don't mind being driven to the brink of madness.
1) Baby Shit / Paper Ship
2) Tapeworm Delivery
3) Annus Confusionis
4) She Cums orchids on a Bizarre Sofa
5) Gas Vs. Dnepro-Ass
6) Disintegration of a Unit
7) Terror Terabytes of Lucy
8) Warning: 19 17 17 19 14 20!
9) Freewheeling Forever
10) Dick-Decorating Knife
11) Svengali Collapse
12) Lieutenant P. Lolly
13) Liquid Enemies are Inside the Hangar Already
14) The Giant Rotten Head Returns and Shrinks Into a Golf Ball
15) Muller House Bimbo
16) Magyar Griffons Prevent Lagoon Mermaid Gangbangs
17) The Theleme Quartet
18) Paleolithic Seascape
19) The Morass of Gluttony and Transparent Lady Underwear
20) Endless Ends