Hey Colossus have become more and more of a multi-faceted band as time has gone by. Radio Static High finds them managing to hold back the apocalyptic riff-monster and allow their tracks a little more room to breath and expand. The results still sound blasted, but in a fresh new way. Out from the Rocket label.
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Hey Colossus proved themselves the least noble of sludge bands with a reissue of their seething ‘In Black and Gold’, a record as into silly rock as serious metal. Between showy string bends and noisemaker distortion, that record offered something for both camps: those who believe this sort of thing should be taken seriously, thank you very much, and those who put it on a playlist with the Meads of Asphodel. On follow-up ‘Radio Static High’, they offer the same sort of sludgy joy-making, wherein the gone-off, way too thick chords are goofed up with riffage and a penchant for psychedelic forgetfulness.
It’s the psych I’ve come for, actually; it's calibrated wonderfully. On “Hop The Railings”, the band disguise themselves in a bit of handmade motorik, a drumbeat swirling steadfast as the band shake from side to side, the reverb acting as a tremor that constantly separates the plain sailing verses from an urgent, climaxing chorus that never truly resolves. It might be HC’s best song yet, able to lend emotive force to a genre staple that usually goes and goes without consequence -- forget hypnosis, this is psych rock as melodrama.
The heavy stuff is still here, of course, but the production distances us from it, postulating the band from a higher plane of existence: the sludgy percussion of “Numbed Out” is juxtaposed with swirling synth and a codified vocal, while the slimy riffage of “Another Head” is eventually distinguished with a guitar tone a la Om, one that floats above in a celestial dirge. Ultimately, there’s a remote, detaching psych aesthetic pervading over activities here, and it makes ‘Radio Static High’ feel holier than thou.
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