Sightings Arrived in Gold

As a key player in New York’s mushrooming psych-noise underground, it would be easy to see Sightings taking an abrupt left-turn on this, their fourth album of confrontational exploration. However, Arrived in Gold begins with a hardly discernible tapping as opposed to all-encompassing walls of assaulting noise, and I was shocked. Sightings’ three previous albums demonstrated an effective technique of recording their instruments so loud they were practically disintegrating their own sounds on tape. Where these albums (the most aurally fulfilling of which is 2003’s phenomenal Absolutes) chose to shred a listener’s inhibitions with assault, Arrived in Gold prefers to draw listeners in with more contemplative and exploratory techniques of playing, much like bassist Richard Hoffman‘s other group, Mouthus has been doing lately. Opening track "One Out Of Ten” sets the change of pace by mixing up some Miles Davis’ Live-Evil-era funk bass with some lightly squealing noise elements and intense, brooding vocals. The sparse delivery and focus on internal stress continues for a few more tracks before "Internal Compass” reminds us that Sightings still dance the death disco with brazen abandon. Arrived in Gold is a challenging and transitional effort that will continue to bear its hidden fruits for years to come. It’s also a portrait of a vital band at its damn near best. (Load)