Writhing Squares have been conjuring up cosmic slop from the Philadelphia underground for a few years now, mixing growling bass, motorik synthesis, and skronking sax into a heady brew of punk-laced progressive R’n’R. The duo of Daniel Provenzano (Purling Hiss, Spacin, Rosali & the Middlemen) & Kevin Nickles (Ecstatic Vision, Taiwan Housing Project) emerged in 2015 with their self-released “Gemini Blues” 7-inch, following it up the next year with their debut album “In The Void Above” for the renowned Siltbreeze imprint. “Out of The Ether” is their sophomore effort, & first for Trouble In Mind.
“Out of the Ether” kicks off with the metronomic throb of “Dirt In My Mind’s Eye”, setting the stage for the album’s 5 tracks of minimal, droning ambience, overtaken at times by Nickles’ wailing, saxophone skronk; a mixture of the soulful runs of The Stooges’ Steve McKay & the no-wave stabs of James Chance. “Steely Eyed Missile Man” picks up the pace, with a four-on-the-floor drive underneath Provenzano’s guttural basslines. “Bloodborne Hate and Black Book Mass” and side one closer “I Turned To The Mirror” add the industrial menace of Cabaret Voltaire to a locked-in groove and lysergicly introspective lyrics. Album closer “A Whole New Jupiter” takes up all of the LP version’s side two, slingshotting the listener over the event horizon and thru the center of a sonically sculpted black hole, it’s relentless motorik dirge evolving over the course of the track’s 19-minute runtime into an abstract pulse before lurching back into the groove, riding it into the sun.