It took a little while, but Minnesota-based guitarist Steve Palmer has delivered on the promise of Unblinking Sun, his excellent 2014 debut. It was definitely worth the wait. Useful Histories is one of those records that answers the age-old question: “What if Sandy Bull made a record with Neu!?” Palmer wastes no time in getting things moving, kicking off with “Statesboro Day, a freewheeling 11-minute motorik choogler that soars straight into the sun. But that’s not all he’s got up his sleeve. “Thirty” paints a delightfully moody landscape, Palmer’s guitar laced with wicked tremolo, while the lengthy “I Am John Timor” is a gorgeously hypnotic droner that floats on a cloud of ambient amp buzz and shimmering overtones. Wherever Useful Histories takes us, we can rest assured that it’s going to be someplace very good. words / t wilcox
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