Almost exactly one year ago I reviewed the debut EP (Sylvan Matriarch) by a Pittsburgh band named Dendritic Arbor. Listening to the EP, I had the sensation that the music was causing my own dendritic arbors to grow in rampant fashion — and then burning them to ash. Borrowing chaotically from black metal, hardcore, sludge, industrial, doom, and freakish electronic noise, the music created an overall atmosphere of severe derangement, as if the inmates had been put in charge of the asylum after being injected with gasoline and then set on fire. I found the whole EP (which is available on Bandcamp) fascinating, wildly creative, and extremely destructive.
Dendritic Arbor have now recorded a new song that will be released on a forthcoming compilation to be released by Philadelphia’s Anthropic Records, and we’re premiering it today in the form of a music video. The song’s name is “Genie”, and it’s based on the tortured life of Susan Wiley (nicknamed “Genie”), whose abuse, neglect, and social isolation at the hands of her father during the first 13 years of her life prevented her from ever learning speech and led her to be considered a “feral child”.
After being rescued from the prison in her home by Los Angeles child welfare authorities in 1970, Genie became the subject of extensive scientific study, while being moved in and out of foster homes and a series of institutions for disabled adults — many of which seem to have been environments just as abusive as the one from which she was “rescued”. (Read more here.)
The unstable, frequently changing song is also tortured and feral. It’s part shrieking black metal blitzkrieg, part discordant noise explosion, part hardcore punk boot-stomp, part droning ambient sounds — and I’m sure I’m leaving out other elements. By turns it’s furious, disturbing, eerie, and melancholy.
The video for “Genie”, which is also disorienting, was directed by Joshua Rievel and Scott Whiteman (Everything Is Terrible!).
Dendritic Arbor are now working on new music to be included on a release this winter by Grimoire Records. Next month Dendritic Arbor will begin a nationwide tour, and you’ll find the schedule for it after the video for “Genie” — which comes next.
DENDRITIC ARBOR — THE FERAL CHILD TOUR 2014
9/19/2014 // Friday • Pittsburgh, PA @House of Low Voices
9/21/2014 // Sunday • Columbus, OH TBA
9/22/2014 // Monday • Covington, KY @Three Kings Bar
9/23/2014 // Tuesday • Chicago, IL @Livewire
9/24/2014 // Wednesday • Madison,WI @Wisco
9/25/2014 // Thursday • Milwaukee, Wi @Quarter’s
9/26/2014 // Friday • Kansas City, MO TBA
9/27/2014 // Saturday • Denver , CO @BarBar
9/28/2014 // Sunday • Salt Lake City, UT @Bar Deluxe
9/29/2014 // Monday • Boise, ID TBA
9/30/2014 // Tuesday • Olympia, WA @Track House w/ Warpvomit
10/1/2014 // Wednesday Seattle, WA w/ Warpvomit
10/2/2014 // Thursday • Seattle, WA @Highline Bar w/ Warpvomit
10/3/2014 // Friday • Portland, OR @The Know w/ Warpvomit
10/4/2014 // Saturday • Reno, NV @Shea’s w/ Gehenna
10/5/2014 // Sunday • San Francisco, CA @Hemlock Tavern
10/6/2014 // Monday • Oakland, CA @TBA
10/8/2014 // Wednesday • Los Angeles, CA @FiveStarBar
10/9/2014 // Thursday • Phoenix, AZ @TBA
10/10/2014 // Friday • Tucson, AZ @TBA
10/11/2014 // Saturday • El Paso, TX Do What Thou Wilt Festival Vol.2
10/12/2014 // Sunday • Denton, TX @TBA
10/13/2014 // Monday • Dallas, TX @TBA
10/14/2014 // Tuesday • Austin, TX @Holy Mountain
10/15/2014 // Wednesday • Baton Rouge @TBA
10/16/2014 // Thursday • New Orleans, LA Siberia
10/17/2014 // Friday • Marietta, GA @Swayzes
10/18/2014 // Saturday • Raleigh, NC @The Maywood
10/19/2014 // Sunday • Richmond, VA @Empire
10/20/2014 // Monday • Harrisonburgh, VA @Blue Nile