Hey Colossus — Dances / Curses (Nov. 6, 2020)UK FLAG                                                                                                    Hey Colossus — Dances / Curses (Nov. 6, 2020)   Hey Colossus — Dances / Curses (Nov. 6, 2020)⊕⇔⊗    Epické 13. album od psychedelic~noise~rockových veteránů.
Location: London, UK
Genre: Psychedelic Rock
Album release: November 6, 2020
Record Label: ALTER
Duration:     48:35
01. The Eyeball Dance   4:24
02. Donkey Jaw   4:34
03. Medal   3:04
04. Dreamer Is Lying In State   3:26
05. Nine Is Nine   3:06
06. A Trembling Rose   16:12
07. A Trembling Rose (Reprise)   3:37
08. The Mirror   4:19
09. Revelation Day   5:41
10. Stylites In Reverse   3:35
11. U Cowboy   4:41
12. Dead Songs For Dead Sires   6:58
13. Blood Red Madrigal   3:24
14. Tied In A Firing Line   8:46
★  Robert Davis
★  Rhys Llewellyn
★  Will Pearce
★  Chris Summerlin
★  Paul Sykes
★  Joe Thompson
★  Vocals on The Mirror by Mark Lanegan
★  Recorded and mixed with Ben Turner at J&J Studio, Bristol and Axe & Trap Studio in Wells
★  Mastered by Peter Fletcher at Black Bay Studio, Isle Of Lewis
★  Sleeve by David HandHey Colossus
GREG HYDE — NOVEMBER 2, 2020 — Score: 8
★  Dances/Curses is London psychedelic noise rock sextet Hey Colossus’ 13th album in 17 years of existence. This frequency of output is all the more impressive when you consider that the band’s members all hold down full~time jobs outside the band, as documented by bassist Joe Thompson in his excellent recent book, Sleevenotes. Their sound has evolved from sludge metal~ish early albums like ‘Project Death’ (2007) and ‘Happy Birthday’ (2008) to the kraut~tinged psychedelia of ‘In Black and Gold’ (2015) and Radio Static High (2015) to the motorik~driven post~punk of more recent works like The Guillotine (2017) and Four Bibles (2019). It evolves further into more floaty, sometimes almost ethereal territory on this album, whilst crucially retaining a degree of tightness and discipline.
★  The first sound heard on the album is that of Thompson’s bass and Rhys Llewellyn’s drums working in deceptively tight lockstep with each other before the band’s three guitarists and lead singer Paul Sykes launch into the spacey melodies of ‘The Eyeball Dance’. ‘Donkey Jaw’ maintains a similar rhythm, but Bob Davis’ lead guitar sound is far more angular here than it is on the opening track. Fans who miss the heaviness of HC’s early work should enjoy the guitar~driven ‘Medal’ and ‘Nine is Nine’. By contrast, the spacey, melodic, and aptly titled ‘Dreamer is Lying in State’ is sandwiched in between these two songs. The real centrepiece of side one, though, is the jaw~dropping 16~minute epic ‘A Trembling Rose’, which brought the band’s set at the Tufnell Park Dome last year to a barnstorming conclusion. On record it is only slightly less impressive, maintaining a steady, insistent rhythm as the band’s three guitarists begin playing progressively louder and heavier, combining with Sykes’ vocals and Llewellyn’s drums to build to a thundering climax. The song is given a droney, stonery reprise immediately afterwards.
★  ‘The Mirror’, ‘U Cowboy’, and ‘Stylites in Reverse’ have a pretty slow, almost hypnotic pace to them. The former song is bolstered by the inimitable spoken word stylings of Mark Lanegan. ‘Revelation Day’ revisits the post~punk sound of ‘Four Bibles’, but here develops and improves upon it by adding in multi~tracked vocals and guitars. It should be said that while a lot of these songs don’t include individual lead and rhythm lines, Hey Colossus’ use of three guitarists is absolutely necessary to give them their sonic due, with all three players frequently playing the same riff in concord with each other. This can lend some songs (and ‘Revelation Day’ is certainly among them) a near~orchestral feel.
★  ‘Dead Songs for Dead Sires’ alters the tone of proceedings somewhat by featuring prominent gang vocals in the verses and a bassline from Thompson that (and this is a sentence I didn’t expect to write about a Hey Colossus song) borders on the funky at one point. This aspect of the song, combined with the fact that the gang vocals start to sound like they’re intoning something sinister towards the end, reflects the album’s title quite well. The slow, plodding pace of ‘Blood Red Madrigal’ does get quite boring after a while and is probably the album’s weakest song. Although it’s not the strongest selection on ‘Dances/Curses’, the nine~minute ‘Tied in a Firing Line’ makes for a very satisfying conclusion to this epic slab of contemporary psych.
Bandcamp: https://heycolossus.bandcamp.com/album/dances-curses