It’s a resonant but difficult to place course that Brooklyn trio Eidetic Seeing chart on their second, self-released full-length, Against Nature. The band — guitarist Sean Forlenza, drummer Paul Feitzinger (also synth) and bassist Danilo Randjic-Coleman — shift easily between pulses of aggro-jazz and post-rocking doom, resulting in a kind of gritty wash made all the more immersive by their mostly-instrumental approach. Particularly on side B’s “Ashplant Blues” and “K2,” both of which top 10 minutes, it’s hard to know where one stops and the other ends, and that’s obviously on purpose on the part of the three-piece, who seem to arrive at an airy dreariness on the 11-minute finale, like Crippled Black Phoenix gone wandering and slamming into a brick wall of stylized freakout, dense fuzz and those gravity waves from the Big Bang that I keep hearing so much about.
Tonal warmth is high, both on “K2” and throughout most of what precedes it, which makes the cooler greys of the matte-finish LP cover — the record itself is black vinyl housed in a black dust jacket — somewhat mysterious, but I suppose multicolor psychedelia has been done to death and rebirth, black and white less so. If that’s representative of a drive toward individualism, it’s mirrored in the five songs included on Against Nature as well. From the opening strums of side A’s launch with “A Snake Whose Years are Long,” which give a deceptive impression of Americana that the song ultimately has little interest in fulfilling, Eidetic Seeing show themselves as patient when they want to be and propulsive in kind. The shortest inclusion on Against Nature is the third track, “Frôleuse,” and even that tops six and a half minutes, so there’s plenty of space for the trio to flesh out and pursue sonic whims where and when they might.
And while there is a suitable meandering sense for (mostly) instrumental heavy psych, this is somewhat offset by shifts into grounded, densely weighted riffs. “A Snake Whose Years are Long” establishes an expertise in the technique, not so much trading back and forth as oozing between one side and the other, and “White Flight” moves from a dreamy synth opening to some of the most dead-on traditional Sabbathian tonality I’ve heard. The kicker is Eidetic Seeing don’t use it to mimic Sabbath. Instead they just ride the riff momentarily on the way to a stomping verse of building intensity that, in turn, cuts back to smoky jazz, undercutting its class with abrasive feedback before moving on to more glorious space riffing. A noisy finish cuts cold into the start of “Frôleuse,” the capstone of an A side that shows no less delight in ignoring the Lego instructions of genre as it constructs a somewhat more tempered spaceship of its own design.
“Frôleuse” hands down disenchantment in a chaotically swirling culmination made rawer through natural-sounding production — that is, they’re not lush even at their farthest out — and after the flip, “Ashplant Blues” seems to answer back with some initially doomed-out lumbering, but the personality of the song and of the second side as a whole is distinct from the first half of Against Nature and shows Eidetic Seeing are comfortable pitting longform works against each other as they are the sounds of Morricone and Russian Circles. Ultimately, Against Nature — which presumably was not named in honor of the Maryland classic heavy rock outfit featuring the members of Revelation, though one never knows — stands as an intriguing and self-directed LP, and while Eidetic Seeing present an approach with some rougher edges, they seem more to delight in riding the sharp corners than to be in need of smoothing out. If it’s to be a long-term creative progression, Against Nature makes a solid argument for following it.