Iowa City trio Aseethe — Brian Barr, Danny Barr and Eric Diercks — broke last summer when they signed to Chicago’s Thrill Jockey Records (Future Islands, the Fiery Furnaces, Trans Am). The band drops its first album on that label on Feb. 24, and returns to Iowa City for a $7 record release show at Gabe’s on Feb. 25.
Gabe’s — Saturday, Feb. 25 at 10 p.m.
Hopes of Failure is savage from the first notes. Each track teases multiple stories within tale-spinning rises and falls and false endings, but with a fraught continuity throughout. The band’s sound, crystallized on their 2012 debut Reverent Burden, explodes with even deeper and more distinct tension-and-release cycles. Their drone is downplayed some, for better or worse, in favor of a more clarified doom metal that nevertheless maintains an unrelenting demand on the listener’s attention.
The album’s four tracks span almost 43 minutes. Not a second is wasted. The shortest, the instrumental “Towers of Dust,” is also the most aggressive; while not fast by any means, it has a drive that seems to say, “What were we thinking?! Eight and a half minutes is not enough!”
Echoes of the mixing preferences of doom granddaddies Black Sabbath can be heard here — but even the earliest work of the boys from Birmingham could have been on speed, compared to the exquisite, precise restraint on Hopes of Failure. A preschool teacher could learn lessons on patience from drummer Diercks.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 215.