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Shayna Dulberger: TheKillMeTrio

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Shayna Dulberger must have a death drive. “Improvisation” opens the album with an out-of-time clangor of cymbals, low-register bass and keening alto saxophone grating on each other in increasing levels of postmodern percussiveness. Dulberger, saxophonist Darius Jones and drummer Jason Nazary are the avant-garde equivalent of Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit; in this case, hell is other instruments. The track titles reflect a pattern of self-loathing: “When I Think About You I Hate Myself,” “Killher,” “Myopia,” “Lowed,” “Duct Tape.” The music follows suit, sounding like a band playing out the stages of grief in primal scream therapy. By “Appendix,” the penultimate track, the three have reached resonant frequency-low on the bass, high on the saxophone, loud on the cymbals-in what feels like an exorcism. “I Wish I Was…,” the closing track, takes the trio to a resolution point, a détente that averts mutually assured destruction.

Originally Published