Grouper has covered an old punk-rock song. Grouper has channeled has an old punk-rock song into something akin to a deep drone. Grouper has accomplished this task not by undermining the original but, in fact, showing it deep respect — by, in essence, taking the song’s lyrics literally, especially the lines about how the title figure “comes in shallow light and disappears” and, later, the cryptic vision of a “silent chamber.” The song, “Demona” by Dead Moon, is in her rendering (Grouper is one person: Liz Harris) a deeply fuzzed out figment, less a song than the song equivalent of the illusion of water that results from hot tarmac being viewed at a distance on a sunny day. The melody and chord structure and overall shape are retained, but they’re produced in a way that makes the term “shoegaze” insufficient — this is “shoehaze” or “shoedrone” or “songdrone” or what-does-it-matter because trying to place the song in a tidy box is very much at odds with the ephemeral quality of the sound that it aspires to (MP3). It sounds like you’re hearing it through a thick wall. It isn’t wall-of-sound; it’s wall-as-filter.
Found via xlr8r.com and thefader.com. More on Grouper at her site. The original can be heard on youtube.com. It is redolent with a particular quality of guitar playing, one that is at once lackadaisical and jarring, and is distinct to a certain realm of non-hardcore punk