Jason Molina 
Pyramid Electric Co.
/secretly canadian; 2004/



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In the sparse ‘Red Comet Dust’, Molina’s voice quivers to such an extent that it seems to cry. This mood spreads out to the half-tuned sprinkled piano notes which seem way too downcast to comfort him. Pyramid Electric co. is loneliness and weariness.
Molina finally got rid of his pseudonyms (Songs Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co.) to release a bare album which goes right to what’s essential. Even if the sadness and disillusion he conveys have an alluring shape, we can long for some melodies which tended to stick to our heads in his previous albums. Let’s here mention his purple passage The Lioness.
The very first piano notes give you goose-skin. Shy guitars won’t help here. Instruments are like Molina’s first audience for him to sing his sorrow out. As he enumerates doleful aspects of life in the 8-minutes long opener he wearily sings ‘You’ll get used to it, we all get used to it”. Repetitive weariness is echoed by the ensuing bluesy guitar sound which weights like an oppressive weather. Molina’s voice won’t really resurface in the song as if he was lost in confusion.
There’s a floating dimension in Pyramid Electric co. because it is devoid of drums. Guitars have to make sure that rhythm is maintained. While I’ve always thought of Neil Young listening to Songs Ohia, here Molina makes me think of slowcore champions Low. The Neil Young aspect still comes back at some point though. ‘Song of the Road’ is an eerie piece in which he raises his voice without annihilating the doleful thread of the album thanks to a bluesy Americana delivery. The closer entitled ‘Long Desert rain’ is a beautiful depressive and fatalistic folk song. Molina starts complaining ‘You used to love a lot of things’ and ends the song with ‘You almost made it’. In-between it’s just a report of helplessness: ‘There are things you can’t change, You call that the course of human’s life’.
Jason Molina’s new effort might be one of 2004 greatest albums and surely is one of the saddest and most hopeless… Let’s hope we’ll find the right time to play it in a few months… Let’s hope it won’t be covered in dust at the end of the year…

-SEB ‘secretly nothing’ WOOd.

/apr 15th 2004/