Yzordderrex - Depth (Self-released)

We at Mutant Breakfast love Jared Moran, and I for one don't care that he is clearly half man, half drum machine. When not lending his talents behind the kit to bizarro heavyweights like OcculsedPsionic Madness, and (my personal favorite) Acausal Intrusion, Moran has made this solo project Yzordderrex a laboratory to experiment with his most viscous skronk. Many releases in that back catalog could be mistaken for Acausal Intrusion outtakes, albeit from a period when the band was ripping bongs and not the very fabric of our space-time continuum. And yet, true to its name, Depth achieves the most vivid realization of Yzordderrex’s longstanding mission to package sophisticated dissodeath for lethargic, doom-loving couch potatoes. Lo-fi without sounding low-quality, there is new attentiveness to the muddy browns in every guitar crunch, which in songs like "Stained Rust" call to mind a deranged and discordant YOB. Occasional major chords flitter in and offer notes of J Mascis's fretwork, simmering like burnt chocolate atop the flame of a not-so-secret love affair with stoner doom (see Witch). And still, it's impossible to discuss any Moran project without trying to articulate the chthonic intelligence to his percussive ecstasy. Suffice it to say, Depth sounds more than ever like he’s treating the drum kit the way most composers do the piano—by beating it into a generative and sometimes even melodic litmus for the many chugging, rumbling, and quaking passages. The start of “Viewing Guardian” and end of the final track, in particular, show a oneness with the material that calls to mind a master potter behind the wheel, sculpting something misshapen and grotesque. Though it’s ultimately unclear whether Depth looks more like an interdimensional urn or a votive bong, I’m sure its craft will hold up alongside the best trophies from Moran’s legendary stretch these past few years.