Hey Colossus and Rocket Recordings seem like such a natural fit, I was surprised to see this was their first release together. Hey Colossus’ furious in-the-red psych-noise-rock has been going down well for years, and In Black And Gold contains plenty of that sound, but it also has a few tracks that aren’t caked in amplified mud. Interesting...
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The reason Mastodon were so fucking good back in the day was because they realised how wonderful it was to be ridiculous. They said: riffs plus riffs equals riffs, so what else even matters? They wanted their music to be as big, terrifying and imaginary as a huge mythical whale that only exists in random passages of the Old Testament. Sometimes, nothing is more metal -- and/or rock ‘n’ roll, punk as fuck, techno as shit -- than throwing caution to the wind and being silly.
Of course, you’ve also got to be tight. Hey Colossus are a good psych rock example. They have decided that caution is not their friend, and so construct a musical collage out of rubble: they use disastrously rasped vocals (plus a few vocal shivers that recall Black Francis if he’d lost his voice), atypical riffs with standard psych tones and a lot of distorted aggression. The whole thing ends up sounding quite silly -- by the time the strings gets bent out of shape and we’re treated to a few prime noise rock screams on “Eat It”, the whole thing sounds like an over-serious exaggeration that’s got no sense of this world. As far as psych rock goes, it’s the most dramatic thing I’ve heard in a long time, with hints of a sludgier, gloomier parallel universe on offer -- but the songwriting is so well developed, and so uniform, that you almost start believing in In Black And Gold’s dystopia.
Hey Colossus are a rare treat in their genre: a band that can play fast and slow with the same technical prowess. They throw down an unexpected sludge power ballad to send In Black and Gold over the edge of the world: “Sinking, Feeling” mixes sparkling chords, low-end mud and pantomimic vocals to create one of those songs that sounds both ancient and deeply troublesome. Its four minutes feel like a gruesome twenty, and the song distills everything that’s felt in these eight songs: the drama and the dumb, the serious and the silly. Kind of like Iceage’s ‘Plowing Into The Field Of Love’, this is a record that can make you giggle and feel at the same time. The gurgled voices and overbearing doominess of “Black and Gold”; the on-the-road-again riffage of “Wired Brainless”; the straight-and-narrow psych pilgrimage of “Hey, Dead Eyes. Up!”. Take them as seriously as you want. Life is ridiculous and so are you.
I still don’t like of Montreal, though.
9/10 JONATHAN SUTCLIFFE Customer review, 24th July 2015
LOVE THIS BAND... VERY DERIVATIVE (SIC)... THOUGH THIS IS A PLUS. THEY'VE GONE FROM STRAIGHT OUT BOG BLAST-ESQUE HEAVY SCORING TO THE RANCID NOISE MERCHANT COMPOSITIONS OF SKULLFLOWER ET AL.... THIS IS VERY MELLOW (COMPARE TO OTHER OUTINGS) AND WOULD BE WORTH A LISTEN (IF YOU ARE OF A MORE POPPY ORIENTATED FRAM OF MIND R.E. GUITAR USE AND ABUSE)... CAN'T SAY MUCH R.E. STRUCTURE OF SONGS AS I BELIEVE YOU SHOUL DBE LISTENING TO THE WHOLE BACK CATALOGUE... I AM MISSING A FEW RELEASES FROM THIS BAND - AND REQUEST... NAY DEMAND THAT (HOWEVER DIFFICULT IT IS TO GET OUT OF PRINT STOCK) NORMAN GETS HIS COLLECTIVE FINGER OUT AND GETS HOLD OF WFG RECORDING AND THE LIKE... AS A NOISE-NIK, A LOVER AND PURVEYOR OF FINE WINE WOMEN AND ROCK CLICHE... I AM AWAITIN' THE DAY WHEN THESE FELLAS JUTS GET UP AND GIVE US SOME CRANKED UP HEAVY BASS LADEN AND DISTORTED GUFF - OBVIOUSLY AFTER TERMINAL CHEESECAKE LIKE.. CHECKING OUT RHE ROCK RIFFS OF SOME NICE PSYCHEDELIC OUTFITS FROM THE 60'S... I WANT NOISE I WANT IT NOW AND I LOVE THE BAND'S SET LIST!!!!!!! PLEASE DON'T GO ALL TWEE AND MODEST MOUSE ON US!!!! THE BEST! YOURS JONATHAN/NOT VERYHIP.INC
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