Eddie Noack had a rough '50s, working hard and never scoring a hit, but that's nothing compared to his '60s. After he was dropped by Mercury, the singer wound up drifting to Allstar, a fly-by-night Nashville indie that specialized in "song poems" – suckers would send in lyrics and pro musicians would set them to music, for a fee – and found space for Noack, a songwriter who had success, but a singer who had none. At Allstar, he was usually able to record his own songs, but Noack wound up chasing trends instead of setting them. Specifically, he wound up cutting several singles in the style of Buck Owens & the Buckaroos, sides that may not have charted but illustrated Noack was a pro, capable of following shifting fashions and delivering upon them ably, even appealingly.
Combining elements of horror-film soundtracks, psychedelic doom, and atmospheric noise, Insect Ark is comprised of Dana Schechter (bass, lap steel guitar, synthesizers) and Ashley Spungin (drums, synthesizers). Insect Ark’s intensely visual music weaves interludes of fragile beauty with crushing passages of swirling doom, spinning like a backwards fever dream. “Marrow Hymns” is a wordless song, a hypnotic voice that screams and whispers from a place deep in the furrows, from the bones, from the blood. Defying easy categorization, Insect Ark’s uncommon sound is in part the amalgamation of these two women’s passions: Schechter’s sinister bass lines and unconventional use of lap steel guitar (and her complete omission of electric guitar), and Spungin’s lucid, exacting drumming and synth work with her own hand-built analog noise pedals (Ormus Electronics).