Boomkat Product Review:
White/Lichens is an intense collaboration between White/Light (the duo of Matt Clark and Jeremy Lemos) and Lichens (TV on the Radio and 90 Day Men's Rob Lowe) and to put it bluntly, if you're into a bit of heavy drone (think Earth 2) then you're going to want to pay attention right about now. I got a little bit misty-eyed over Lowe's last full-length as Lichens (which is soon to be followed up on the Kranky label!), so to hear him head to head with heavy drone kings White/Light is a revelation - Lowe's spiritual ambience and improvised vocal experiments pitted against Clark and Lemos's trembling guitar noise has to be heard to be believed. I suppose a good comparison would be towards Growing who similarly try to combine pastoral ambience with Earth-style doom, but where Growing occasionally drifts too far into new age White/Lichens manage to reign their sound in quite admirably. The album is book-ended by two long-form tracks (almost 20 minutes each) with three shorter tracks making up the middle section and unlike so many albums of this kind it refuses to overstay its welcome. Rather than spending most of duration noodling in a soup of dense ambience, these tracks feel focused and intense, with the kind of power you'd hope from a veteran of the genre like Rob Lowe. Okay so it might not be as gloomy and malice-ridden as Sunn o))) or their contemporaries, but what White/Lichens have done is maybe the third wave of doom metal, blending in influences from far and wide, unafraid of upsetting the purists - and for this they must be praised! Psychedelic, involving and heavy as you like, grab this and zone out, there's no better escape from reality. Awesome stuff.