Much to my disgruntlement, I’ve yet to make it to New Mexico. Hot dog; jumping frog: Albuquerque, and whatnot. I guess it’s the state’s proximity to, and yet its plainly demarcated and closely monitored dislocation from, Central America which appeals: gorging on breakfast burritos in scorching heat – particularly around about this time of year – is a rather appealing proposition, it has to be said, and one which is only enhanced by a sense of greater touristic security, I should full well imagine. Though to turn sweltering eyes, wagging tongues and salivating glands from a culinary, to a more musical concern Albuquerque’s starting to happen in a not insubstantial way: no longer is it to be merely renowned for a James Mercer here; a Zach Condon there; or A Hawk and A Hacksaw more or less anywhere there’s ATP, but genuine excitement now abounds and sibling pairing North America are bang at the forefront of this comparatively seismic sea change.
Describing their so-called kitchen jams as everything from post-dance, to desert-psych, to Reggae Whale Song their standout 5-track, Blown Out, was inspired by interactions with extraterrestrial forces and abnormal energies, and proves a suitably disorientating listen over a half hour or so. Its midpoint, entitled Shasta Soup Can, also just so happens to be its standout track: a ghostly, psalm-like incantation materialises only to soon subside, enveloped all but entirely by an impenetrable fog of proto-punk agitation. Opaque guitars grumble over feverish cymbals – their respective timings only eventually feeling one another out after two minutes when the liminal manoeuvres of Messrs Josh and Jesse Hasko finally align. A precise encapsulation of that indescribably singular duality only siblings share condensed down into an invigorating musical form, it’s exactly the kind of claustrophobia I’d hope of a perpetually muggy New Mexico, and the humidity only heightens when minutes later the chants momentarily return to usher in some of the most crystalline guitar lines one could wish for. Like the eventual abating of fleetingly debilitating chilli sweats, it’s a beautiful moment from a band doing some unprecedentedly beautiful things.