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I seem to recall being mildly impressed with a record by these guys, the original 'Ugly Side of Love' when Geoff Portis-Barrow III of Bristolian Towers flung it out on his psych-doom space rock label. Taking a juicy thread from that post 'Tomorrow Never Knows' style of tripped-out, percussion-heavy head music, they still sound like quite an effective unit. Problem for me with this new album is tha ...

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Return To The Ugly Side by Malachai
1 review. Write a review for us »
6/10 Brian Staff review, 24 February 2011

I seem to recall being mildly impressed with a record by these guys, the original 'Ugly Side of Love' when Geoff Portis-Barrow III of Bristolian Towers flung it out on his psych-doom space rock label. Taking a juicy thread from that post 'Tomorrow Never Knows' style of tripped-out, percussion-heavy head music, they still sound like quite an effective unit. Problem for me with this new album is that despite moments of quite stunning grandeur & an incredibly meaty production sound, it often sounds stuck in some Trip Hop/UNKLE-style mid 90's hinterland. Electronics and thunderous beats are merged to create a kind of post-Mezzanine, dark psychedelic landscape with the slightly forced Jack Bruce/Ashcroft/Ian Brown/Tunngguy hybrid vocals yearning/gurning forcefully over the music. There's some spots where it really jels - a sonic collision of thunderous rolling drums, atmospheric & cavernous production tricks plus some deep, grooving bass - the treated vocals going proper stellar. '(My) Ambulance' is a prime example of Malachai getting it totally RIGHT and sounding pretty fresh, progressive & exciting to boot. Which happens rarely throughout this album. To be honest though, the more I listen to this fucking thing, the more I like it. Only because it makes me a bit nostalgic for my early-mid 20s! Are the 90s really about to make a comeback? It's them string samples & the block-rocking beats you see. If some of it makes me wince slightly, then it's probably my problem, not yours, as this album's "finish" really does SOUND impressive.......


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