|Hey Colossus||The Guillotine|
Hey Colossus — The Guillotine (June 2nd, 2017) ★ Hey Colossus is not just one of the finest in their genre but deserve to be considered one of the finest alternative bands out there period. The levels of creativity they bring with each and every album and how they with sometimes subtlety and other times with sheer surprise, take their music in any damn direction they want to, should be good cause to dive into their body of work. Clearly, The Guillotine is one of the finest albums released in 2017. Location: London, UK
Genre: Psychedelic Rock
Album release: June 2nd, 2017
Record Label: Rocket Recordings
1. Honest To God 4:54
2. Back In The Room 7:07
3. Calenture Boy 4:51
4. Experts Toll 3:20
5. Potions 5:02
6. Englishman 4:18
7. In A Collision 5:03
8. The Guillotine 7:24
★ Hey Colossus have undergone a spectacular metamorphosis in the last three years — the 2015 Rocket Recordings double~drop of ‘In Black And Gold’ and ‘Radio Static High’ displayed not only a band with a work rate to put most all their contemporaries to shame, but one arriving at an atmospheric and rewarding sound with as much flair for the beguiling as the barbaric.
★ Changes may have been afoot in the Hey Colossus camp, yet their latest transmission ‘The Guillotine’ marks another peak for an innovative force in the realm of heavy amplification. Darker and more brooding than their recent work, it’s also perhaps their most richly melodic to date — the interplay of their three guitar lineup has never sounded more fluent than on these eight songs, nor their songcraft more well~defined.
★ This is a record whose alchemical charge arrives from a reinvention of loud rock shapes into forms both feral and fresh — whilst Hey Colossus can still bludgeon with overamped vigour, as on the hypnotic and devastating krautrock~Jesus~Lizard hybrid of ‘Back In The Room’ they can also deliver the dusky and haunting waltz~time serenade of ‘Calenture Boy’ with uncompromising fortitude, with the new~found confidence and allure of Paul Sykes’ vocals at the forefront.
★ These menacing and immersive songs chronicle a band exploring a unique sound and invigorating approach in a decade in which cliches and genre pieces in the realm of the psychedelic have frequently surrounded — here the six~piece find themselves transcending the limitations of the underground scene from whence they came, whilst exposing the paucity of inspiration in much of the guitar~rock mainstream. Hey Colossus are at their sharpest, and none will survive ‘The Guillotine’.
By Luke Cartledge / 28 MAY 2017, 09:00 BST / Score: 7
★ Of the many platitudes by which Hey Colossus are regularly described by their cultish fanbase, “monolithic” seems to be the most persistent, and with good reason.
★ This is music that is painstakingly, exhaustingly constructed, pungent with the perspiration and lactic acid of physical exertion, that crumbles and plummets with similarly epic levels of drama and earthly weight. Remarkably, since their departure from the brutal noise rock of their early records towards a comparatively accessible brand of swaggering psych on 2015’s In Black and Gold, Hey Colossus have somehow managed to pull off the paradoxical feat of actually becoming a heavier band while allowing a hookier, poppier sheen to varnish their cascades of wrought~iron grooves and sandblaster riffs. On The Guillotine, the listener is strongarmed into bearing witness to a further refinement of this disorientating brew of metallic intensity and inexplicably catchy melody.
★ The first thing that strikes me, as it usually does on Hey Colossus records, is the rhythm section. The bass, drums and rhythm guitars on The Guillotine form an astonishing bedrock for each track, their grooves chasm~deep and their details — pushes, pauses, fills and twists — are never less than expertly measured. In this, Hey Colossus present us with another contradiction, albeit a more familiar one: like all truly great heavy bands, their rhythm section sounds at once sweatily organic and mechanically regulated, pounding away with trance~like single~mindedness. “Englishman”, the album’s second single, is a case in point: if one were feeling little unkind, it could be argued that this track never really goes anywhere, plodding through a series of engaging but nigh~indistinguishable textures before grinding — and grinding is a particularly pertinent adverb with which to describe this band’s aural manner — to a sharp halt. Yet it’s that plod (more of a stalk, to be honest) that carries it; Hey Colossus build grooves in which I could live for months.
★ For me, then, that the band don’t seem satisfied to join me in that rhythmic cocoon is a bit of a shame. Although many of the vocal hooks here are commanding, unsettling things that demand our attention, all too often they feel a little awkward, as if they’ve been crowbarred into their parent tracks with just slightly too little thought. That’s probably untrue, particularly as Paul Sykes’ lyrics betray real care and passion, imbued as they are with an affecting, incisive sense of existential dread and political indignation. But the melodies just don’t reflect those urgencies, and this becomes distracting from that astonishing rhythmic work, which is a shame. The Guillotine’s production also shoulders a portion of the blame for this. In yet another paradox, this is actually because the production team — Ben Turner and Part Chimp’s Tim Cedar — have done too good a job of capturing the excellent beats and riffs upon which the record is built, and this throws the shortcomings of the vocals into sharper relief.
★ However, when the record works, it works, simultaneously in the senses of cohesion, physical graft and mechanistic industry. Despite being a little less all~consuming as a whole than its predecessor, Radio Static High (2015), The Guillotine’s highlights reiterate the primal power of Hey Colossus as effectively as anything the band has previously released. The second half of the album — from “Potions”, to “Guillotine” — is particularly delicious in its grunt, and for the most part, those closing songs manage to embrace Sykes’ melodies a little better than the tracks by which they are preceded. One senses that this band have a great deal more to offer as they continue to carve out a niche for themselves that straddles the boundaries of heavy psych and radio~tolerant (not radio~friendly) alternative rock, and it’s thrilling to see a group of their purpose and repute take such a clear aim for wider audiences, because they deserve them. For now, though, I’m going to go back and focus in on that drummer, again and again and again. ★ https://www.thelineofbestfit.com/
by Jim Harris on 05 June 2017 / Score: 10
★ ...¨ “But true artists never seem to settle and The Guillotine shows how Hey Colossus can stretch and bend their heavy psych sound into more deliberate and atmospheric directions. This album sounds more like Sonic Youth at its finest than Danzig or some other screeching metal band.” ¨¨
|Hey Colossus||The Guillotine|
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