The Physics House Band have always been happy to follow precisely the musical path they feel like following, and they are still rolling that way on Mercury Fountain, their second full-length album. The music is a knotty tangle of math-rock, post-rock and prog-rock, with a generally psychedelic vibe mixed in. LP and CD editions on Small Pond Records.
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“Do you wanna be a rock band or not?” - me, to the Physics House Band, who are not listening. This record of compelling psychedelic amusements has me, a first time listener, fairly stumped, as they roar into view from some moody meditations on “Mobius Strip” before fading out in the heat of the moment. They re-emerge on “Calypso” just the same but brand new, now a positively mathy band obsessed, in a different way, with the tightness of their instrumentation. From psych to post-rock in the space of minutes! Somebody buy them some restraint.
Of course, it’s a whirlwind of delight: the band tour the recesses of experimental rock with egalitarian glee, giving their slow drone process on “Holy Caves” a krauty bassline and a shimmeringly kosmische backdrop of chords. They go hard and sludgy on “Surrogate Head”, pushing gurning riffs into place before counter-attacking them with swirly, synthy sounds and jazzy drum fills. “Obidant” has that elastic, upward-swinging feel of Mastodon in its riff department, while “Impolex” is a mix of math rock and electronic digit pushery. Also: there are flutes.
We like to say bands do whatever the fuck they want in praise of them; the Physics House Band literally are, to paraphrase Richard Ashcroft, a million different people from one day to the next. It’s weird rock roulette with too many bands to RIYL -- but it’s a truly daring and often affecting spin of the wheel.
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- Mercury Fountain by The Physics House Band
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