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Alternative & Indie - Released April 20, 1999 | K Records

If minimalist punk group Flipper had incorporated the excesses of Pere Ubu, then created a hybrid of the Cramps' Lux Interior and the Make Up' s Ian Svenonius to sing vocals, this Old Time Relijun album would be the result. Vocalist/guitarist Arrington De Dionyso explores the guitar's fretboard in every non-standard method possible, whether it's detuning and retuning during the middle of a song ("Telephone Call"), sounding like an uncontrollable factory machine ("Giant Boat"), or picking the guitar strings near the bridge to create piano-like noises ("Broken Water"). Along with drummer Phil Elvrum and bassist Aaron Hartman, the band destroys any preconceived notions of what rock is supposed to be. They take a metallic, simplistic, and chaotic approach, where instruments sound as if they're melting (the bass at the end of "Johnny Appleseed") or dying (the bass clarinet in "Broken Water"). The group even manages to explore free-form noise ("Hot Oven") that puts the Stooges' "L.A. Blues" to shame. The album would be an all-around success in noise rock if not for a two-and-a-half-minute Jew's harp solo ("Khomuz") and a drawn-out acoustic guitar/vocal ditty ("Office Building"). Fans of no-wave punk, or experimental renegades like Captain Beefheart, should take note of this record. ~ Stephen Howell
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 9, 2007 | K Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 8, 2019 | K Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 22, 2018 | K Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 4, 2018 | K Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 6, 2005 | K Records

The consistently jittery, jarring tone of 2012 is both consistent with Old Time Relijun's past releases, and not something that will be everyone's cup of tea, so consciously does it strive for an unsettled groove. Still, OTR have undeniably developed a tighter sound over the years, and a funkier one that provokes comparisons to punk-funkers such as James Chance, complete with wailing, agitated saxophone. Arrington DeDionyso's vocal yelp will likewise sometimes bring to mind David Byrne, albeit with far less pop-friendly, more hysterical delivery and songwriting than Talking Heads ever managed. It's not easy to follow what DeDionyso's going on about as his free-form impressions collide with the clattering musical elements sounding at angles with each other, but they do give off a vague sense of apocalypse. There are, however, some defter shadings here than in the past, whether the jungle-like rhythms of "Reptilians," the buzzing pulse of "Magnetic Electric," some mild dub-like vocal echo, and the creepy swamp-funk of "Her Fires Chill Me." Most surprising of all is the closing instrumental "The Blood and the Milk," whose combination of wobbly, incantational saxophone and funereal organ place it close to avant-garde jazz-gospel (which, in turn, won't fail to incite comparisons to some of Albert Ayler's work). The CD includes an MPEG video of "Cold Water," a song not on the album, filmed live in Italy. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 6, 2004 | K Records

A little angst goes a long way, and in Arrington DeDionyso's case, he got a whole career out of it. It would be foolish to expect him to be mellowing out after more than a decade in the business, and Lost Light delivers the tense goods you'd expect. The stripped-down-sounding trio of DeDionyso, double bassist Aaron Hartman, and drummer Rives Elliot plays taut funk-punk rhythms behind the frontman's yelps, which sound like a fire-and-brimstone sermonizer who's definitely taken a turn for the darker side. It's music of integrity, but not of great variety, recalling some of the more atonal aspects of the early New York punk-new wave scene, perhaps with a funkier bent and an even gloomier outlook, as if Jandek had decided to get a real band together. Images of closed doors, vampires, immersion in threatening waters, "10,000 tigers gnashing teeth," and the like permeate the songs, the hellish organ of "Cold Water" adding to the sense of impending doom. Not a cheerful listen, no siree. But the band isn't all about vocal thrash, throwing in arty instrumentals to keep listeners a little off balance -- "Music of the Spheres" has some eerie upper-register tinkles and wildly upward zoom guitar slides atop the thud, and "Cold Water, Deep Underwater" is a little like the most way-out early Velvet Underground instrumentals in its gnarly guitar textures. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 4, 2004 | K Records

Witchcraft Rebellion is easily the most consistent release to date from this raucous, ramshackle trio led by Arrington DeDionyso and featuring the Microphones' Phil Elvrum on drums (who, by the way, is an excellent drummer; he's not on board merely to add name recognition). DeDionyso's singing falls somewhere between Captain Beefheart, Blind Willie Johnson, and Popeye. He screams, hollers, growls, whoops, and hollers throughout these 13 surrealistically bluesy songs. "Mystery Language" is one of the standout Old Time Relijun songs thus far. All the band's trademarks and idiosyncrasies are there: a herky-jerky guitar riff that finds common ground between post-punk angularities and Delta blues, guttural vocals belting out bizarre couplets ("I can take off my head/And so can my dad"), and simple but powerful drumming. Elsewhere, such as "Vampire Sushi," the band gives an absurdist's take on the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion formula, while "King of Nothing" is a gritty postmodern rockabilly tune with a machine-gun rhythm. Witchcraft Rebellion can be a jarring ride at first, but once you are acclimated, it goes down as smooth as any classic R&B. ~ Jason Nickey
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 4, 2000 | K Records

Sloppy, noisy rock & roll -- this describes the Olympia indie veterans Old Time Relijun. But unfortunately, that proper description is nowhere close to a compliment. La Sirena de Pecera features an arrangement of out-of-tune instruments, poorly captured lo-fi recordings, and hauntingly bellowed vocals that have an overall whine and lack of appeal. Even if Old Time Relijun have the credibility of featuring Microphone mastermind Phil Elvrum behind the drum kit, that doesn't stop this Blues Explosion-inspired noise from being a difficult listen. ~ Mike DaRonco