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Scott Kelly

The most brutally honest and intense musicians are capable of thinking out loud. From the cold-hearted ramblings of Hank Williams, Sr. to the rabid fits of Black Flag; from the anxious drone of the Stooges to the muffled resignation of Nick Drake, each of these artists has created songs with more at stake than simply crafting postured and poised works of art. They expose their minds without any concern for the vulnerability of their thoughts.

Scott Kelly proves to be among that rare breed on his solo debut, Spirit Bound Flesh. As guitarist/vocalist and founding member of the Bay Area's legendary sensory-overload outfit, Neurosis, Kelly has spent over 15 years exploring the possibilities of sonic catharsis. Setting out to record his first solo album, Kelly intended to make a record close to the raw nerve tinge of classic country music, but the result is even more intense. Similar to the way that John Cale turned open space into a wall of sound on Nico's solo outings, and Cat Stevens drained his synapses into murky acoustic drones, Kelly pulls listeners into his mind by placing the focus upon the strength of the human voice as an instrument. His voice murmurs, soars and whispers as if it were a bowed cello, making his unflinchingly personal lyrics slowly reveal themselves upon repeated listens.

Aiming to explore the possibilities of his own voice, Kelly found acoustic guitar to be its natural companion. At times it may be difficult to distinguish between the two instruments as Kelly's mantra-like vocals tug at the open-ringing harmonic chord drones of guitar and interloping keyboard/percussion flourishes merge like a thick serum. Surprisingly, the album's rich tones and sonic depth were captured primarily in Kelly's living room, with just a couple of good microphones and an ADAT recorder. The simple, ravaged sounds are equally as heavy and entrancing as any of the most behemoth riffs of Neurosis.

mp3 Track: "Flower"

Essential Info

Latest Release:
Spirit Bound Flesh

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(c) and (p) 2001 Neurot Recordings
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