The Magik Markers Get Boss

When the three moons of Magik Markers aligned they were a mighty triptych of enlightened chaos. Shapeless noise catharsis dreaming in dull color. Then Leah crawled into the desert and only Elisa Ambrogio and Pete Nolan remained. Now it's a cross, tilted it's an X -- one's sipping snake oil, the other holy kerosene. Boss means big, and that's big purging, skin shedding at the expense of drifter lullabies and still-hardening exteriors that shelter three-chord punk songs.

The duo does their damnedest to breath life back into the experiment. This is their Bad Moon Rising and the unfurled teenage riot in "Body Rot" predicts they might just stumble into their Daydream Nation. "Axis Mundi" and "Last of the Lemach Line" teeter between hum-able rock dirge and improv's natural luck. There's still a stab and kill first, hide the corpse later, fog to their more challenging movements, though now inflated sonics (Lee Renaldo plays and produces here) make them stick to the bone.

It's "Empty Bottles" that burrows through to the bar that never closes; piano and voice and field/alley recorded silence. Ambrogio is rich with imagery, tiny prayers to new age pagans, or perhaps the whole bulk of words is just a plea to a friend to meditate on something other than mental scar. About time we all meditate this wayward way.

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