Seven years after their genesis, Banned Books have settled into a staple position in Philadelphia’s burgeoning experimental noise scene, extending their realm touring in the US and beyond, performing with bands like Deerhoof, Guerilla Toss, Zs, Xiu Xiu, Palm and many more. Recorded in four days at Gravesend Studios with Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader of Ava Luna, Banned Books’ first, self titled, full length release is their most structurally cohesive and utterly bombastic version of the group to date.
Sewn through a constant embedded darkness, Banned Books is fueled by a transcendent and fantastical whimsy. Where the band still takes influence from personal heroes, Deerhoof and Lightning Bolt, Banned Books approaches their songs with a breathtaking energy, locking into tight, rock grooves before falling into free improv madness. There’s a constant battle between strange, meticulously crafted structures and abrasive, improvisatory bursts of energy. Matt Dermond’s guitar sounds are intricately carved from MaxMSP patches (a computer language that builds interactive programs) on a tablet that he runs through his amp; his tendency towards subtle, precisely crafted crunch tones makes for a rich combination with drummer Zane Kanevsky’s unhinged, emotionally driven percussive style. The record is an experiment in control and release and the ability to ride the line right between the two.