Blouseusa), "Tugs 2" (self-released)
Benjamin Thomas-Kennedy is one of Seattle's most prolific musicians—and one of its most interesting. People into cerebral heavy metal and brutal, improvised psychedelia may know him as the drummer of Lesbian and Fungal Abyss, respectively. Both bands have notched enough transcendent shows to qualify as at least semi-legendary in local-music circles. More recently, Thomas-Kennedy formed Shitty Person as an outlet for his more songwriterly inclinations, while still keeping the music on the vitally grim side of the spectrum.
Blouseusa) was formerly a solo electronic-music project for Thomas-Kennedy, but on Tugs, he expands to a four-piece and opts for a spacious, mind-expanding approach that allows the players to stretch out over two 25-minute pieces. There are similarities to Fungal Abyss here, but Blouseusa) is a slightly more airy, kosmische proposition, finding solar solace in the chakra-tickling jams of '70s krautrock explorers such as Ash Ra Tempel and Agitation Free.
"Tugs 2" lopes as if it has all the time in the world to take you into the deep zone, with ex-Rose Windows vocalist Rabia Shaheen Qazi emoting with anomic poignancy, as if from a distant void, and Brad Dunn and Thomas-Kennedy's guitars glinting and glowering with laconic menace. All the while, Daniel La Rochelle's rhythm metronomically kicks and paradiddles you to some forbidding place—shades of Faust's Zappi Diermaier and Can's Jaki Liebezeit. After listening to "Tugs 2," it's tough to return to reality's crushing obligations, so maybe it's best to play it when your schedule clears and you can escape for a half hour of astral travel.