LINDA CUSHMA / OXYGENE8 – Rhino

Oxygene8 2021

LINDA CUSHMA / OXYGENE8 –
Rhino

Trampling pandemic underfoot, American experimenter sticks it to the loneliness.

It’s been nigh on nine years since the world last heard new music from this small ensemble whose name includes that of their leader’s now, yet, nearing the band’s two decades of action, Linda Cushma shaped a record which should summarize her creativity. While 2012’s “Loop1” was a single, almost-hour-long cut, “Rhino” is a two-track offering spanning twelve-odd minutes but containing as many, if not more, sonic events. Factor in the group’s signature groove, and there’s a lot to enjoy on cerebral and spiritual levels alike.

Propelled by Linda’s basses and the beats that Tim Alexander of PRIMUS fame provides, these numbers stomp as impressively as the record’s eponymous beast, its titular number starting out with a tender spank before first opening to effects-laden six-string swirl and twang of the highest lyrical standard and then leading the flow to a bedrock dancefloor where riffs and licks flirt and rage over the memorable melody. No less frisky is “Santa Monica” – only this instrumental has romance written all over the piano-spiced edginess and when serrated soloing abates, the storm will be resolved into a blissful calm. There could be no better way to expose one’s vulnerability, perseverance and resilience to the masses, so it’s about time Linda’s fresh album, thusly styled, arrived.

*****

August 8, 2021

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