eMusic Review 0
Glenn Branca had a perfect idea: Why not make guitar squall the equivalent of the mammoth minimialist sculptures then being worshipped in Artforum, now that post-punk had already brought the worlds of gallery art and downtown rock together? This 1981 album is the result. It brings four guitarists (including Branca and future Sonic Youth scraper Lee Ranaldo) together with a rhythm section to create song forms open and slow-moving enough to let them all clang off of each other. Less symphonic than later Branca pieces, The Ascension retains just a bit of new wave ambitiousness, essential seasoning for this avant-garde entree. If any DJ at the time ever put it on over a silent screening of Liquid Sky, a few denizens of Nightworld might have roused from their stylish stupor as "The Spectacular Commodity" raved to its conclusion. This album is a chunk of loud art from back when, even for artists, the idea of making rock still preserved a hint of pagan glory.