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Friday, February 27, 2009

New SIX FINGER SATELLITE album is real?!?! "Half Control"

"I will believe it when I see it." That's what I've thought every time I've heard that there would be a new Six Finger Satellite album. Well, I haven't seen it but I have heard it. There is no physical album yet, but all the tracks can be heard HERE AT LAST.FM and the mp3s can be BOUGHT HERE. And it's GOOD.

Six Finger Satellite were one of my personal favorite bands back in the 90's, putting together Big Black guitars and Jesus Lizard rock with DEVO rhythms and synthesizers to create a sound that tons of bands are still just catching up to. They fell apart in 98 or so after releasing "Law of Ruins" - an album that was far more minimal and stretched out than any of their previous stuff. It definitely seemed like a "final album."

Then I think it was 2001 or so when I tried to see a "reunion" show in Brooklyn. They were touring with Landed, 2 members of which were now members of Six Finger Satellite. Except that 6FS didn't play, with no explanation. Then there were rumors of a new album, another reunion, etc. but years went by and nothing happened. Maybe a year or more ago a couple of the band members started an official MySpace page - with the usual claims of a reunion and new album in the works. By this point I was much too skeptical to believe it, but then they just recently posted the above links!

I tried to do some research by looking at the 6FS wikipedia entry and apparently this album was recorded back in 2001 (or partly recorded?). Maybe everyone was just waiting for a real stable line-up to come together so that there could be some shows around the release. I don't know if I can make sense of the membership over the last decade, but it seems that every incarnation, including the one which recorded this album and the current line-up, includes founding members J.Ryan and Rick Pelletier (also in Chinese Stars). Wikipedia claims that the current drummer is Jon Loper, member of Made In Mexico, which would be cool.

Anyway, here's the important information. This "new" album sounds like classic Six Finger Satellite. No one would be surprised by the sound or suspect a membership change if it came out right after "Paranormalized." The guitar has that characteristic shrill metallic feel and all the drums hit hard while always staying seriously off-kilter. The sci-fi synthesizer sounds are in place. Mostly fierce little rock songs, with just a few touches of the minimalism that filled "Law of Ruins," like maybe in the title track "Half Control." It's built mainly on a single lurching, pulsing rhythm but keeps the energy very high throughout. Only the last track stretches out enough to feel like a long song, but really, there is no filler and you get to the last track so fast that you'll want the album to be a little longer. The whole thing hits hard and fast. If you love Six Finger Satellite, you will love this record too.

Apparently the real thing will be released by Load Records - date unknown, but I now believe it may happen. No mention at the Load Records website site yet. There are shows in April listed - I'm less convinced those will happen, but let's hope!

Relevant links:
Six Finger Satellite on MySpace
MySpace page
The album on LAST.FM
Buy the mp3s from fina
Boomkat also sells FLAC files.


sally sweatpants said...

drumming for the band currently is Brian Dufresne. they also recorded a new album last summer which features Rick on both drums and guitar, J.Ryan and Dan St. Jacques. barring injury, the upcoming shows will be happening.

M*P*Lockwood said...

Good news! Thanks for the additional info!