|Radio Static High (2 October 2015)|
Hey Colossus — Radio Static High (2 October 2015) Location: London, UK
Album release: 2 October 2015
Record Label: Rocket Recordings
01 Radio Static High 5:07
02 March of the Headaches 3:43
03 Hop the Railings 6:03
04 Numbed Out 2:59
05 Memories of Wonder 5:09
06 Snapping Undone 4:27
07 Another Head 3:54
08 The Mourning Gong 3:19
09 Hesitation Time 3:07
10 Honey 4:31
℗ 2015 Rocket Recordings
• Tim Cedar Engineer, Mixing
• Robert Davis Group Member, Guitar, Organ
• Tim Farthing Group Member, Guitar
• Jon "Drumm Chimp" Hamilton Mastering
• Rhys Llewellyn Drums, Group Member
• Jonathan Richards Group Member, Guitar, Keyboards
• Paul Sykes Group Member, Vocals
• Joe Thompson Group Member, Guitar (Bass) © Raw and uncompromising … Hey Colossus. Photograph: Jo Wells, PR
Hey Colossus release their second excellent album of 2015. What’ve you got to show for it?
By Geoff Cowart / 30 SEPTEMBER 2015, 13:30 BST; SCORE: 9
• Releasing two albums in one year (so far, at least…) is a good strike rate for any band. But when a group hits such a rich vein of form as the London–via–Somerset–and–Watford troupe of Hey Colossus, it’s only natural that the tunes keep on coming.
• Thankfully, fans’ loyalty towards the 12–year–old band is repaid in spades on Radio Static High. And thankfully furthermore, the mercurial group doesn’t just settle for conjuring up the darkened, glimmering sludge rock of February’s In Black and Gold. Instead, the band sound like they are in a remarkably relaxed mood as they channel early Wire or This Heat to rock out in irrepressibly angular and refreshingly direct fashion.
• “We have noticed a small wave of incredible goodwill towards us. We want to give as we receive,” lead guitarist Jonathan Richards offers in way of explanation for their quick return to the studio. “Maybe the knowledge of our 12 years together makes us aware of our mortality. Time is limited. A band’s purpose is to create.”
• Create they do. And if there was a flaw on the sprawling In Black and Gold it was the apparent lack of destination for its songs. The bulk of the album consisted of deep brooding riffs and rich sonic tapestries that offered a mind–bending, if refracted, take on heavy rock. But here its hellish miasma is replaced by a set of impeccably written and executed three–to–six minute tunes, all complete with taut structures and edgy singing.
• This more structured approach to the songs makes it a fascinating bookend to In Black of Gold. Not only does it sound less laboured, but it also is downright fun. The chiming guitar of Richards on “The Mourning Gong” offers a surprisingly pop–orientated — if suitably demented — succinctness over three minutes as the minor chords trickle downwards, the band spritely riffs along. Meanwhile, singer Paul Sykes’ vocals float over the top of the tune as he repeats the lyrics: “Face fall into the light….” with a wry smile. As an ensemble, the track could easily stand as their tightest and most cohesive song of their career.
• Earlier in the album, “Hop The Railings” has an almost psychobilly bounce to it as its countrified guitar pickings are matched by the unforced, yet equally distorted, singing of Sykes as it gains momentum and hurtles towards a jaunty motorik Cluster–esque jam. While the punishing stutter–step of guitar riffs which kicks off “Numbed Out” could trace their ancestry to Berlin–era Iggy Pop and David Bowie coolness, complete with some pulverising kit work from Rhys Llewellyn.
• Don’t let the relatively straightforward song construction fool you. Repeated listens reveal heaps of intriguing detail that is artfully and sparingly lavished on the songs in the studio. It’s a sign of real maturity and experience from the band which consistently takes care to switch up a song’s attack just as you’ve twigged what they are doing. But for the second time this year, Hey Colossus have succeeded in outsmarting just about everyone. • http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/Also:
James Barry, CLASHMUSIC / REVIEWS / 02 · 10 · 2015; SCORE: 9
• Initially lurching from the UK noise underground in 2003 like a bedraggled audial creature rendered from toxic waste in a VHS horror movie, the musical growth rate of Hey Colossus has been quite a spectacle to observe. Yet from the nightmarish murk of early driller–killer works such as 2004’s debut ‘Hates You’ and 2008’s ‘Happy Birthday’ to more recent nuggets of perversity like 2013’s ‘Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo’, this beast has mutated and evolved into something uncommonly alluring.
• The six–piece London–via–Somerset troupe began 2015 with February’s release of ‘In Black And Gold’ — in which the brawny repetition–driven raunch they built their sound on was furnished and burnished by dub–derived spatial awareness and cinematic drama, making it both a bold reinvention and an uncommonly compulsive avant–rock document. Yet not content with this, the band immediately set about following it up with their second album of the year, and one that further ups the ante on their savagely graceful assault. ‘Radio Static High’ is the sound of a confident outfit honing their attack to become a veritable force of nature.
• With the band citing — tongue presumably firmly lodged in cheek — inspirations as diverse as Jane’s Addiction, Fleetwood Mac (Tango In The Night era) and Cypress Hill, songs were constructed at a fierce rate of knots, yet with a focus and intensity partly instilled by band members living hundreds of miles apart, and partly by the relentless passage of time. “We have noticed a small wave of incredible goodwill towards us. We want to give as we receive.” notes guitarist Jonathan Richards, whose chiming lead guitar plays a notable role in the album’s Paris,Texas–esque midday ambience.. “Maybe the knowledge of our 12 years together makes us aware of our mortality. Time is limited. A band’s purpose is to create.”
• Songs took shape from demos, exchanged riffs and drunken text messages alike–one such from guitarist Bob Davis to Richards demanding an homage to Neil Young’s ‘Cortez The Killer’ resulted in a demo to that effect a mere 20 minutes later. which eventually became album centrepiece ‘Memories Of Wonder’. Elsewhere, ‘Hop The Railings’ takes the powerfully propulsive groove of Can and cross–pollinates it with Beefheartian interweaving triple–guitar skronk to make a heat–haze–dwelling juggernaut of intimidating proportions, whilst the closing double–drop of ‘Hesitation Time’ and “Honey’ hits like Joy Division repurposed for the soundtrack to True Detective. • “After 12 years functioning in a Noiserock/Doom/Kraut/whatever scene of sorts and being aware of unwanted repetition, we feel it is more subversive for us to compose songs with rigid song structures than it is to absentmindedly clang off another riff–athon.” Richards adds. Indeed, with all the bulldozing primal drive of heavy AmRep–style rock and none of the cliches, and a sound infused with leftfield sleight–of–hand yet hitting home like hammer to anvil, Hey Colossus prove themselves as potent as they are prolific. What’s more, ’Radio Static High’, in all its sunkissed widescreen glory, is set to leave most all their contemporaries eating their dust.
|Radio Static High (2 October 2015)|