Song of the Week: “The Cardinal Movements” by Bottomless Pit

by Douglas Cowie on 19 April 2013

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “The Cardinal Movements” by Bottomless Pit:

Bottomless Pit– “The Cardinal Movements”

My friend Nick introduced me to Bottomless Pit a few months back, not long before they played the ATP festival curated by Shellac. Nick is one of those people whose enthusiasm for a band I trust enough to know I’ll probably like the music before I’ve heard it, but their set at ATP blew me away and when I got back home I ordered up all three of their albums.  You can get them all on a Japanese two-CD reissue that recently came out, if you’re interested. Click here to go visit the Bottomless Pit website and order it. This song is the opening track of the album Hammer of the Gods.

My joy of discovery didn’t limit itself to the 40 minutes at the festival.  I’m not sure I’ve ever been quite as excited to hear the start of a song as when that deceptively simple drumbeat leaped from the speakers after I placed the needle down.  And when the guitars enter–bass, baritone and regular (is a regular guitar a tenor guitar?)–you know you’re in good hands.  Again, deceptively simple: actually each of those parts is more complex than it at first sounds, but the real joy is the interplay of four instruments, and the dynamic ebbs and flows they create as the song builds to a climax that itself ebbs only just a little as the song ends. Finally, let me mention the lyrics: like the instruments, what we get here is nothing that seems flashy, but again like the music, manages to sound simple and intelligent and complex in equal measure.  These guys are making rock music of real heart and real beauty and real intelligence, but also rock music that really rocks.  Go! Buy this music! Begin to love it as much as Nick does!

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