Tireless Michigan-bred multi-instrumentalist (and parent) Pete Nolan runs the Arbitrary Signs imprint, drums for Magik Markers and has written a children’s book and accompanying album—yet still has time and energy to lead Spectre Folk’s doleful, spiraling psychedelic drones. With drummer Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Aaron Mullan (Tall Firs) on bass and Peter Meehan on guitar, they churn out black seas of noise guitar, psych jams, no-fi experiments and other interplanetary gunk.
The follow-up to their The Blackest Medicine, Vol. 2 EP (Woodsist), Ancient Storm opens with a slow-burning ballad whose vibe is right out of If I Could Only Remember My Name, and ends with creepy heaviness that wouldn’t be out of place on a Jandek record. In between, layered, psychedelic guitar work and the occasional electrified vibraphone overlay a mix of beefed-up psych-rock muscle and a more stripped-down, guy-in-a-bedroom sound. Hard to believe a group this murky can swing this hard, but such is the nature of 21st Century astral projection.