The Writhing Squares - the Philadelphia duo of Kevin Nickles (sax, flute, synth) and Daniel Provenzano (bass, vocals) - have been refining the nuts and bolts of their sound over their previous two albums. Their latest (and second for Trouble In Mind), Chart For The Solution is a double album chock full what makes them tick; heady, progressive, psychedelic space-rock-cum-minimal synth slop, punctuated by MacKay / Chance-style blasts of brass and woodwinds that definitely scratch an itch. Over the course of Chart For The Solution's four sides, Nickles and Provenzano utilize the extended format to stretch out and settle into a groove all their own. From the relentless synth pulse of opener "Rogue Moon", through the aggro-throb of "Geisterwaltz" and four-on-the-floor scree of "Ganymede", The Squares have no mercy for your weary ears. After a brief, (slightly) mellow respite through three tunes ("The Abyss Is Never Brighter"/"A Chorus of Electrons"/"The Library"), the band ratchets up the intensity with the cacophonous clatter of "NFU" (featuring Philly legend "Harmonica" Dan Balcer Ripping through runs on his harp) leading right into the album's centrepiece; all of Side Three's "The Pillar", a near-nineteen minute epic suite that launches the listener straight into the maw of a black hole and through the other side. Side Four closes out "Chart For The Solution" starting with the slinky stomp of "North Side of The Sky" into "Resurrect Dead On Planet Whatever"s unsettling, cosmic-funeral dirge. Fittingly, "Epilogue" closes out the album, with Nickles' sax dive bombing around Provenzano's bass throb like an alien interpretation of "Funhouse"'s howling anarchy, augmented by live drums by John Schoemaker & organ by Alex Ward. Chart For The Solution really is a Zone, and the perfect auditory cleanser to scrub away the stain of the previous year.

The Writhing Squares - Chart For The Solution LP Released 26/03/21

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