LARMAN CLAMOR (Altars To Turn Blood) CD
Even though I prefer Delta blues in its pure form, I must say that I really enjoy it when musicians alienate that sound with modern elements. One of the best examples for it is R.L. Burnside's record 'Come On In' where the old swampy groove has been enriched with some modern electronica. The same also apllies to 'One Man Riot', which is the last album of Slidin' Slim. All this is more exciting then the two hundredth cover version of John Lee Hooker's 'Boom Boom'. That is why I have found favour in LARMAN CLAMOR, because the last album 'Altars To Turn Blood' also clears the muddy ground to build something that is almost new. But unlike R.L. Burnside and Slidin' Slim, LARMAN CLAMOR do not use any drum loops or other electronic gimmicks. In honesty: I can not say exactly what so new about their music but it feels right and fresh.
But since the release of the self-titled debut album (review here) a few things have changed. Drummer R. has quit the band, so that more blues is left for visual artist Alexander von Wieding (guitar, vocals). Also gone are the licks of garage rock in favor of a heavier sound. One of LARMAN CLAMOR's greatest strengths is the ability to creat a dense atmosphere by the use of distorted, dirt-encrusted riffs and gruff vocals. This is further underscored by this album. If one did not know better, one might think that this is a four-piece, even if there is no bass and the percussion is sparse. But Alexander von Wieding's guitar has a ballsy sound, no matter if it's acoustic or electric. And then there is his raspy voice that reminds me of Howlin' Wolf and Tom Waits.
A further bonus is the diversity of the included nine songs. Sometimes an organ appears or he uses different percussion instruments. Furthermore Alexander von Wieding is smart enough to vary the tonal colors of his voice, just as it is needed for the mood of the song. As you can see, 'Altars To Turn Blood' doesn't get boring and it's straight to the point. It gives me the feeling of sitting in front of an old illegal distillery somewhere in the Okefenokee Swamp and I'm starting to hallucinate due to the strong booze. If that sounds good to you then you should give LARMAN CLAMOR a chance.