Skullflower – Exquisite Fucking Boredom

Skullflower
Exquisite Fucking Boredom

First take a catchy Sabbathy riff and repeat it ad infinitum. Put some super fuzzed-out guitar wanderings over it, then intersperse some non-sequitor keyboard things, and throw in a few other sounds that might be lying around. Do this again with the same riff, but mess with the guitar effects a bit and mix a few things around. Now do it a third time with new guitar, keyboard, and sounds. Basically that’s “Celestial Highway” parts I-III, which comprises the first 40-plus minutes of Skullflower’s first release in seven years. To say that Exquisite Fucking Boredom is an exercise in stoner drone minimalism is almost saying too much.
For those not in the know, Skullflower is the incarnation of UK resident Matthew Bower, who also keeps busy with his other bands, Sunroof and Total. Over the years he’s worked with several other’s on the Skullflower project. For Exquisite Fucking Boredom, Bower has enlisted the help of Mark Burns on guitar and Steve Martin on bass. Colin Potter and Vibracathedral Orchestra’s Neil Campbell also add their production skills.
The fourth track, “Saturn,” is fundamentally a shorter version of the “Celestial Highway” meditations, minus the catchy Sabbathy riff. “Return to Forever” is the quickie of the CD at only 9:18. It’s basically a deconstruction of the “Celestial Highway” epic. Or to put it another way, someone hit record while the mates were warming up, and R2-D2 made a special quest appearance while tripping his nuts and bolts off.
The last track is “Celestial Highway” IV. It starts out much more aggressively than the first three movements and features a LOT of up-front bird sounds. That Sabbathy riff is buried so deep you can’t hear it except for in your sub consciousness, with an audible note breaking the surface every so often like a shark circling it’s prey.
I think I’ll save everyone all the high-falutin experimental artist comparisons and cut to the chase. If the repetitive sound of a record skipping, staticy radio stations intermittently being received, or the hypnotic oscillating hum of a refrigerator late at night don’t make you want to smash your head into the wall after more than five minutes, you might have what it takes to appreciate the simple, dirging beauty that is Exquisite Fucking Boredom.