Record Review - 3 September 18 2002

There’s a monster hiding inside Sightings’ self-titled debut — one that lures unsuspecting prey with promises of a guitar/bass/drums lineup before opening its jaws to reveal a beast of another color. This is music for cement mixers and white-hot lacerations; the kind groups like Throbbing Gristle and Einsturzende Neubauten would need sledgehammers and synthesizers to create. But there’s none of that fancy gear to be found here — just the tools of the trade.

Throughout these 11 songs, the New York-based trio hones in on the true malevolence that lies within dissonance and feedback. The recording sounds like it was made on a boom box, and the lo-fi sound lends quite a bit to the music, blurring the lines between unchecked aggression and organization. Each song roars with such ferocity it distorts naturally, phasing in and out of profound moments of white noise.

“Don West” and “Leather Pants Couple” jolt to life like downed power lines, while “Cuckoo” throbs with machine-like endurance. Clusters of rhythms and ruckus jostle each other in a chaos executed with extreme precision. Vocals occasionally float to the surface, but they’re either too spastic to be understood or totally lost in the conflict.

Sightings holds much more than meets the eye, a vision of tension and turmoil that’s not for the sound of mind.

Sightings plays Lenny’s Sat., Sept. 21.??