LARMAN CLAMOR (Frogs) LP/CD
Up until recently, Alexander von Wieding was the main supplier of cover designs for Small Stone Records. However, since last year, he joined the label roster with his own outfit LARMAN CLAMOR, and his one-man band fits well into the picture, because a lot of bands on Small Stone are strongly influenced by the good old blues. If you are familiar with the previous releases of LARMAN CLAMOR, then you already know that Alexander von Wieding indulges in his love of the Mississippi delta blues. In doing this, he takes the traditional sound of Howlin' Wolf or Lightnin' Hopkins farther than anyone else on Small Stone.
The result sometimes reminds one of later R.L. Burnside or Slidin' Slim, but basically Alexander makes the blues his own, adding his own 'Larman Clamor style' to every swampy note. This works especially well on 'Frogs', which is his most developed work until now. It's the raw energy and diversity of this record that are it's biggest assets. Sometimes the songs are loud and rough, such as 'The Mudhole Stomp' or 'Black Cylinder', while others are more tranquil and quieter. It is especially in these moments where LARMAN CLAMOR easily creates an atmosphere that evokes memories of southern Louisiana bayous, and one can almost feel the glittering heat in the music. There are also plenty of compelling boogie rhythms that harkens back to John Lee Hooker, whereas the gruff vocals have much in common with Blind Wille Johnson.
Although LARMAN CLAMOR consists of only Alexander von Wieding, 'Frogs' is less minimalistic than one would think. The reason is, that there are more instruments than just an acoustic or electric guitar. Sometimes you can hear both, but there is also some percussion and other sounds which I could not yet identify. So, if you like your blues over-produced and sanitised then go elsewhere, but for anyone who likes music to come from the gut this album is one you really should check out. I personally recommend the swamp-green vinyl edition, which includes a beautiful twenty-page artbook.