Mother of Curses
Best known for his work with U.S. Maple, Todd Rittman has formed a new band: D. Rider. Its debut release is filled with heady experimental rock signatures: explosive percussion, handmade instruments, alternately wailing and jangly guitars, and portentous bass-lines. The Chicagoan trio mixes this with Windy-city post-rock features; in particular, judicious use of cornet and saxophone and minimalist layerings.
Upon occasion, a balladic character inhabits Rittman’s cryptic, long-breathed vocals; crystal clear vocal harmonies also populate the most fetching portions of Mother of Curses. Indeed, the singing serves as a stark contrast to the often noise-laden character of the accompanying instruments. The whole doesn’t quite cogently cohere, but its spiky juxtapositions and somber-hued vamps take out rock in often fascinating directions.