Release Date: May 21, 2013
Record label: Outer Battery
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
From afar, Imaad Wasif and Stephen McBean certainly seem like kindred spirits, two cool-headed psychedelic warriors conjuring expansive sounds for expanded minds. Wasif, still probably best known for his work with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and McBean-- of Black Mountain and Pink Mountaintops-- are collaborators at heart. Their new project, so-called "New Acoustic Death Folk" ensemble Grim Tower, got its start in McBean's backyard as he and Wasif strummed away an afternoon on a bunch of curiously detuned guitars.
Given the nature of what lurks on this first Grim Tower album, one might pause to wonder exactly what imagery Stephen McBean and Imaad Wasif had in mind with that name. All manner of things are suggested by the mystical, mythical and arcane music itself, which while hardly a collection of folk songs, is certainly informed by folk tales. The tower could be Rapunzel's in all its fantastical sublime, or some sun-baked minaret in North Africa, or perhaps most appropriately a Dakhma, or 'tower of silence', a building used in Zoroastrianism as a means to dispose of the dead by leaving them open atop the tower to the elements and scavengers.