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Storm & Stress: “An Address That Was to Skip Ahead of the Gallop of Its Own Sperm and Eggs” (Under Thunder and Flourescent Lights, Touch & Go 2000)

This American trio’s second and last album feels spot on for the turn of the century convergence of math rock, improvisation, and deconstruction. It came right around the same time as Oval’s most harsh sonic deconstructions, just after Gastr del Sol’s final release that featured electronic experimentation amidst conventional songs, the maddening math rock of Don Caballero and Ruins, and a whole slew of records focused on, for lack of a more elegant way to put it, improv noodling. Somehow this feels comfortably positioned in the center of all of it, no doubt informed by Jim O’Rourke’s role as producer as much as the ingenuity of the writers and players. While the opening cut on this album threatens to take users down the familiar road of tedious tinkering, this second cut gets my attention far more directly with its unusual punctuated percussion and tentative guitar patterns.