Dusted Reviews

Inca Ore With Lemon Bear's Orchestra - The Birds in the Bushes

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Inca Ore With Lemon Bear's Orchestra

Album: The Birds in the Bushes

Label: 5 Rue Christine

Review date: Aug. 11, 2006

Eva Saelens (a.k.a. Inca Ore) can sing. Like a spastic 5-year-old Meredith Monk fanatic with an explosive temper, she can sing. With her pipes alone, she can raise the ruckus of an entire Magic Band plus a Siamese cat on spin cycle. And she has the self-discipline to make compelling art from her seemingly unhinged vocal contortions.

Performing with D Yellow Swans and Jackie-O Motherfucker, she’s been a polarizing presence, drawing admiration and disdain but not a lot of apathy. Her name has serious currency. The time is certainly nigh for a comprehensive personal statement.

While it’s got a bit more range than restraint, The Birds in the Bushes marks Saelens as an artist of equal ability and abandon, an experimental singer both passionate and unique.

Saelens found a fitting collaborator in multi-instrumentalist crackpot Lemon Bear. He performs like an unusually talented bull in a thrift store, raising rhythms from a mysterious assortment of junk. This stuff rarely rocks, but it often rumbles, and makes a strong case for the redemptive power of the rumble. Although it’s not immediately obvious, Lemon Bear and his barely credited cast of backing players know damn well what they’re doing. The noise never steps on the voice, but compliments it in its many, many forms.

Inca Ore and Lemon Bear are almost never out of step with each other, but not all of these tracks rise above their concepts. Like any performers of unapologetic grandiosity, these two can be hard to take when they’re pushing a weak idea. “The Birds” must’ve taken a lot of work, but it still sounds like a mean parody of something horribly pretentious (or a fake nature record as created by Horse Cock Phepner-era Sun City Girls). The flimsier ideas seem to generate the tracks with the longest playing times.

But when The Birds in the Bushes gets mad, it’s super fucking amazing. “Lucky One,” “Glossolalia” and “I Will Kill You” are at once cathartic and galvanizing, as thrilling and chilling as the best of early Swans. While the backing players pant and dry-heave like they’re stuck between a spite-fuck, a fistfight and a hangover, Saelens raises her voice beyond the red without (and this, you’ve really got to hear) ever actually screaming. In a field that’s been too kind to formalist wankery and goofy, contrived eccentricity, this is the payback, as real and human as it gets. Maybe noise is finally the new punk.

By Emerson Dameron

Read More

View all articles by Emerson Dameron

Find out more about 5 Rue Christine

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.