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Carlton Melton are a band whose releases I almost invariably enjoy, with a mixture of deep, dark riffing and detailed psychedelic chuntering creating an uniquely meditative stoner vibe which falls somewhere between the riff-mongering of the likes of White Hills or Gnod and the more textural blown-out bluster that you hear from bands like Sylvester Anfang II and Eternal Tapestry.
One feeling I’m immediately getting on the opener here, ‘Nor’ Easter’, is that they’re really embracing the fun, melodic and on occasion cheesy side of their stoner sound for a bright, accessible summer riff-a-thon which channels Hawkwind at their most joyously self-indulgent before the title track drops down into celestial synth swirls and gentle delayed guitar twinkles and throbbing bass thrums easing us into the triumphant drone-plod ‘Space Treader’ with Mark McGuire-esque treble-fuzz explorations poking through the dense fuggy haze.
Things descend even further into the murk in ‘Wingspan’, with layered synth and mellotron drones, backwards tape effects and all manner of little details scattered around the womb-like drift, before ‘Adrift’ has a sleepy drum groove and buried synth bleeps over a slow-building psychedelic drone with calm and measured guitar heroics all over the top, before heady bong-jam closer ‘Smoke Drip’ drops us in an almost ambient aether of reverbing tremolo drones, echoed twinkles, and Hawkwind-style tape echo weirdness, building into a cosmic mass of throbbing, shredding smoke-noise. This is probably the most accessible and varied collection we’ve seen from the ‘Melton yet. Very smoky.
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