Around the time I was beginning to get the hang of tiresome and underdeveloped adolescent sarcasm, which I would ultimately deploy in an all-out war to control the radio in each of my parents’ vehicles, I remember saying something rather sardonic relating to how boring I found all NPR personalities to be. Perhaps it was: “This guy is so dry! Why doesn’t he even try to sound like he is excited about what he is saying?!”
This, of course, was before I became a full-fledged NPR-addict, discovering that I greatly favored the matter-of-fact tone the hosts to the over-the-top shouting of the talking heads on cable news, and that these folks on the commercial-free station at the left end of the dial actually reviewed cool music, such as the droning sludge crafted by San Francisco’s stonerific Om.
Indeed, the journalists on NPR aren’t all listening strictly to world music, cool jazz and peacenik folk strummers. These guys like to rock out, as well. Case in point: NPR’s All Songs Considered blog recently posted the latest leaked track from the forthcoming Advaitic Songs, “Gethsemane.”
Like a slow morphine drip, Om has been strategically releasing new tracks from the new record — plodding ever-forward just as “Gethsemane” does. Raspy cello strings and a hazy, molasses-slow oscillating drone harken back to the band’s name — “Ommmm,” they seem to chant — while sparse, but purposeful, percussion and a prominent, grooving baseline form a sticky resin, keeping everything glued together.
Listen to “Gethsemane” below, and check out what the folks over at All Songs Considered have to say about it by clicking the above link, if you like. Click here to listen to the last leaked track, “State of Non-Return.” Of course, if you’re anything like me, you may need the occasional break from NPR. After going from rolling my eyes at public radio to praising it’s programming, I have moved into a new phase, wherein I am quick to announce my annoyance at the way just about every emcee pitches his or her voice in an apparently hubristic attempt to imbue their monologues with an air of gravitas.
Advaitic Songs is set to be released July 24. However, Om have yet to schedule any local shows.