Sightings' deconstuctionist noise rock removes the melodies and hooks of standard rock and roll, leaving a mash of growls and feedback - from the high pitched grind in the guitar strings to the groan inside a bass amp. It's a destructive post-punk mess that beautifully references weird outfits like Einsturzende Neubauten as well as the early 80s no wave scene and noisy contemporaries like Wolf Eyes, Black Dice, Lightning Bolt and Ruins.
Sightings formed in New York City in 1997 with Mark Morgan (guitar and vocals) and John Lockie (drums) getting together and jamming. A year later, they met bassist Richard Hoffman, and the trio put out a slightly more traditional, straight ahead rock single on the Freedom From imprint. After realizing their art rock potential and drawing inspiration from the likes of Yoko Ono, Cabaret Voltaire and Red Transistor, Sightings recorded their self-titled debut, released on Load Records in 2002. The album displays sharp and terse assaults, probably unlistenable to most. Though these tracks sound as if one would need electronics to create them, Sightings builds all of their sound barrages with a guitar, bass and drums lineup.
Absolutes, which followed in 2003, finds Sightings reaching a pinnacle of ear-splitting fury. This record takes the otherworldly noise of no wave originators Mars and blows it up into a 21st century attack on the senses. Like early Sonic Youth, the record completely recontextualizes what it is to be a rock band with sounds and structures that are all but unheard of - be warned, though, Sightings is not for the faint of heart. [AMG Charles Spano]