The luminiferous flock of Peter Wright’s guitars has come again to rescue this poor listener, forced to the ropes by the attack of dwarf clones whose inconsistency is directly proportional to the consideration they receive. Snow Blind, for good measure, is a double CD (hooray!) that sends the magnitude of the quivering signals pretty high in the scale: nearly two hours of blissfully deafening roars, succulently plangent drones and disturbed ringing tones. Depurative, febrifugal, unreasonably suggestive stuff designed for your personalities to develop as angelic children in dissolute adult bodies. And that’s not all, folks.
Ever since the initial and splendidly titled “The Drunken Master In His Crumbling Citadel”, Wright incites the listener to the contemplation of a murky ecstasy through a self-explanatory urban commentary: a field recording of a bona fide drunkard, muttering his own truth (incomprehensibly for this scrutinizer) amidst metropolitan echoes and gradually swallowing walls of wailing axes depicting an idyllic harmonic tissue. A stark contrast, nonetheless suggesting something that sounds, for lack of a better adjective, divine. The discriminating acumen shown by the New Zealander in the assemblage of superimposed distortions (frequently sounding particularly consonant) is in this case counterbalanced by various recourses to extremely rudimentary, yet devastating melodies (check the first disc’s final episode “Follow The Leader”, the very title hinting to a concept that makes me recoil in horror) which should ideally encourage a brighter vision of a decaying materialism but in the end elicits a peculiar type of quiet desperation, to say the least.
As always, the guitarist looks especially interested in changing the gradation of timbres via altered varieties of equalization, a knowledgeable processing that literally disintegrates chords and lines into sparkling smidgens of gritty idiosyncrasy. And those drones: the best on the market for over a decade now. Amplifiers at 11 are not enough to emulate what this man manages to achieve with a simple arpeggio surrounded by thousands of mashed-snail reverberations. Let me tell you once and for all: people like Wright and, on a different playground, Aidan Baker are the initiators of this kind of modern-day six-string painting. The rest are for the large part cheap imitators that occasionally strike a mere ounce of gold with an appropriate choice of colours, nothing more.
Therefore save your money - thus preventing some pathetically incompetent, tinnitus-inducing retrograde from impersonating the god of hermitic thaumaturgy in a valve-amped Walhalla - and support those who have been walking the walk after talking the talk for decades, barely noticed, utterly enlightened. The grief-stricken broken illusions portrayed in this gorgeous release might fight a bit with the witty cleverness of their creator’s real-life attitude (perceivable even in his website and email updates); still, they’re undoubtedly the nearest thing to a representation of guitar-based endlessness that I can think of. A bulletin like this is a good reason to be grateful.