Following support slots with Goat and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Les Big Byrd commit their Scandinavian space rock to tape with Stockholm Death Star. Fuzzy and full of modern-psych overtones it’s also packed with a distinctly Swedish knack for pop hooks. Out on vinyl 12” from ‘a’ Recordings.
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I recently watched Christopher Nolan’s space-epic blockbuster ‘Interstellar’, and I have to say: I was very confused that the soundtrack wasn’t Moon Duo. Similarly, I’ve heard rumours that ‘2001’ doesn’t feature the music of Follakzoid, so I’m not sure we can really call it a space movie. Also, I’m confused as to why not everything in the universe is psych rock yet.
Anyway, Les Big Byrd; their brand of psych worships the blank dot of space as well as any other band, to the point where their riffs are produced to sound as grand as black holes to nowhere. On the eponymous opener to ‘Stockholm Death Star’, they syncopate synth sounds to disorientate and displace the listener; listening to these moments on headphones, it’s as if the sonics are coming from outside of your listening environment, falling from the sky onto your ears. It’s a nifty trick, as if the band are actually delivering space rather than merely imagining it.
It’s not all unknown star-gazing, though: “I Woke Up In A Dream” is naive and beautiful, a proper song that plays off lilting melodies and sweet pop rock harmonies. “Anywhere But Here” sees the band tear into the solar system with screeching, wah-y riffage among a a hopefully cast rhythm. Final track, “Vapour R.I.P.”, is a true alt rock ballad with smacks of the band’s psych affection. How’s that for versatile? This band have feelings, as well as astronaut suits.
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- Stockholm Death Star by Les Big Byrd
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