House of the Lie is Ben Roe Jr. who makes up one half of the ambient noise duo Caulbearer. With ‘Kingsnake Blues’ Ben finally steps out on his own, and offers up 3 long-playing guitar drone meditations. (Cody Drasser of Caulbearer also makes an appearance by offering up a remix of the song ‘Pain In The Desert.’)
The palette that Ben works with is one of simplicity – mostly guitar, sampled voice and keyboard - but by his unique methodology he manages to paint large strokes of brilliant color, subdued shades of earth toned noise and desert-like spaciousness with only a few notes and other select sounds. Consider House Of The Lie to be the Yin to Caulbearer’s Yang. That’s quite a feat when compared to the many over-wrought and ultimately lifeless ambient-drone albums the genre has recently offered.
Ben chooses to let the tender heart of each track shine through rather than obscure their essence with too many layers or effect. In other words: from humble and simplistic ingredients comes a deep and soulful album of manipulated guitar wailings and morose desert musings. Take the title track for instance, where Ben somehow manages to wrangle an evaporated ocean’s worth of sorrow from a few swelling guitar notes and delicate crackling static to form a slowly building mass of cavernous and vast reverberations. All in all, the 3 songs that collectively make up this EP are indeed a family of sounds that share much in common with one another while managing to openly display their own unique structure, ideas and phrasing.
Through simple but effective repetition, these sparse songs each evoke an ancient mantra-like effect that casts a spell to conjure the lost and lonely spirits of the Southwest and absorb the listener in the beauty, sadness and struggle of the inhabitants and creatures (both living and dead) of the New Mexico desert.
released October 30, 2014
Ben Roe Jr.: Tracks 1-3
Cody Drasser: Track 4
Cover painting: Ben Roe Jr.
Cover design and 'House Of The Lie' logo and 'Kingsnake Blues' logo: Cody Drasser
Mastered: Michael Balance
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