In the eye of the lightning bolt: Buck Gooter’s “The Spider’s Eyes” will burn a hole in your stereo

Joey Hill

Virginia-based musician Buck Gooter’s album “The Spider’s Eyes” sounds like the soundtrack that will accompany the most gruesome of satanic orgies in the darkest, most mosquito-infested waters of America.

Gooter truly is the result of deciding to play an 8-track of Led Zepplin backwards while screaming post-modernist manifestos into a microphone as a thunderstorm plays backup. From the first track of the album, “We are Spiders,” there is a definite feeling that whatever is going to happen during the course of the next hour will be almost Lovecraftian in its horrific visages too scarring to ever be thought back on again.

The track consists of a strained guitar cut that sounds like it was recorded on an airplane black box wire and heated to white hot before played again and then set over a droning, rumbling sound of mysterious heavy machinery or explosions firing off in the distance. Gooter sings over it, saying a manifest to the secretive lives of the spiders. All the while, a powerful, loud electronic drumbeat crashes like the feet of a billion of Satan’s hellish abominations upon an unsuspecting and unprepared Earth. The apocalypse is now.

The next track, “No one owns the sky,” is the loudest song on the album. There is a huge and terrifying ringing sound resembling the noise of a megaphone placed against a conveyer belt coming to life after 100 years of disuse. That noise over and over acts as a heavy bass line. A slow tribal beat pounds over the song while a dirty and muffled punk guitar rift blasts like dynamite sticks exploding under a sidewalk.

The first track to resemble a conventional music track is “Sex with a hornets nest,” a lyrical scream railing against the conventional and boring social network “life” which Gooter seeks to escape by having sex with a hornets nest. The song could be seen as deeper than that, as though the copulation with such a dangerous object is the greatest statement that Gooter can make, saying that he does not have any interest in the selective dealings and false communities of the internet and illustrate his want to fully “commune” with nature.

The track “Fun in the sun” is a mysterious dark surfer song, using the sci-fi standard of the Theremin along with a drum beat straight from the deepest depths of the Marianas Trench to create a song that seems more like the anthem to set an entire beach on fire. From the beginning, Gooter’s crowing delivery of “let’s get ready for some fun in the sun” has the hoarse age of the king of the hobos, leading his sordid gang down the streets to a toxic beach lit only by a sickly sun where the sands are black, and the waters are impure, glowing green and surging with gurgling sea foam that ought not to be of this world.

The ninth track of the album, “Poodle wagon/Pink dye,” has the most animalistic performance by Gooter. He shouts the lyrics as if he is singing through a weird vocal distorter but he’s simple screaming too loud for it to make any difference. With strange synthesizer noises sounding like the blasts and explosions of an exciting space battle, the song is the most heavily produced track on the album. The final track, “The spider’s eyes,” is by contrast minimal, featuring a blasting drone similar to “No one owns the sky” and a guitar cut that’s so rough it sounds like it’s been fried by a nuclear explosion. Gooter calls his work “primal industrial blues” and with the sudden shift at the end of this track to the sound of howling winds and the far off ringing of church bells, the listener can gain a sort of understanding of what he means.

Gooter is the Captain Ahab of the music world, seeming to fall deeper and deeper into an obsessive and frantic madness as he pursues his Moby Dick in the form of the polite and commercialized world of music making and from listening to “The Spider’s Eyes,” one can only hope his madness continues on for future work. Like a drifter spitting a wad of black tobacco onto the ground, Gooter’s work can appear repulsive at first, but to those who stick around, they will find the most venomous and sweet smelling of vegetation rise from the resulting stain.