The Final Age are a creation of Bristol based drummer Jesse Webb, who enlisted musicians from a host of disparate underground bands including Gnod and Kuro. What spilled out takes the listener into noisy guitar scree, pulsing synths and drums and wild forays into instrumental abandon, all gripping onto a psychedelic core.
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Cardinal Fuzz’s lean to the leftfield lately has been more than welcome. It feels, in some small way, like the psych landscape is moving on, casting its gaze with a lil’ bit more aspiration. At least, that’s how it feels when you get a record like this one: Jesse Webb’s Final Age project is a record both ornate and noisy, as likely to remind the listener of a Stars of the Lid string drone as it is one of the noisier bands on the Constellation roster.
Enlisting the flourishes of Gnod’s sax miscreant Dave McLean, alongside the Heads’ Paul Allen and Kuro violinist Agathe Max, Webb finds himself creating a symphonic splurge of a record, a maximalist creation that expands outward from his loose-hanging rhythms. “2 Second Rule” offers a glimpse of what he’s like at his most formally psychedelic -- the bass and drums weave to infinity, but a distant horn fanfare and shredded guitar dissonance offer an engrossing, gothic landscape for the listener to realign their attention to. “96 Layers” has guitars broken in half lying about being broken in half -- the forthright jazz drums keep them on path as library keys twinkle in the back, the whole track coming off like This Heat releasing on Ghost Box.
No Webb soundscape is too pure -- his more serene pieces, such as “A Certain Breed” and the record’s clean-air opener, carry ominous undercurrents, divined by melody and then poisoned by grotesque timbres, razor-sharp electronics and defeated whispers. It’s one of the most interesting things Cardinal Fuzz has ever released, and is sure to appeal to fans of a more conceptual psych rock.
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