Friday, Feb. 28, 2014

Old Earth Cuts to the Chase on the Purposeful New "All Kill" EP

By Evan Rytlewski
all kill (first take @ the tannery)
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In music, few words are as loaded with connotations as the term “experimental.” The word is typically used to signify music that’s difficult or unusual, but beyond that, it has come to imply a certain pacing as well. When we think of experimental music, we think of long, meandering songs, tracks that stray from the plot and wander around in no particular hurry to get wherever they end up.

Milwaukee songwriter Todd Umhoefer’s output as Old Earth is a potent reminder that "experimental" doesn't have to mean meandering, though. A four-song suite packaged as one continuous, 13-minute track, Old Earth’s new All Kill EP is a study in speed and motion. There’s a lot of room for exploration and digression in these folky, looped-guitar pastiches, which Umhoefer recorded with members of Field Report and Altos, but instead of chewing the scenery, he keeps each song headed purposefully toward a destination. Umhoefer’s releases have grown increasingly direct since he adopted the Old Earth moniker, but he’s never cut a record this fleet, this eager to lay clear its ideas and sentiments. Sometimes the joy is in the journey, but as Umhoefer demonstrates on All Kill, sometimes there’s satisfaction in just cutting to the chase, too.

All Kill is posted for streaming and download at Bandcamp, via the Scottish label Mini 50 Records. Stream it below.


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