COLOSSUS AND THE VAN HALEN TIME CAPSULE
LISTEN TO THIS RELEASE VIA BANDCAMP BELOW
LIMITED EDITION 500 ONLY BLACK VINYL LP WITH DOWNLOAD CODE. ALSO AVAILABLE IN A VERY LIMITED RUN OF PROMO CDR'S
A1. The Question
Fifth album and a new six man line up. 12" black vinyl only, the way it should be. Almost seven years of flying under the radar doesn't seem to of bothered these stubborn souls. Back they roll with their second album on Riot Season. 'Happy Birthday', released August last year, plundered a top 30 spot in the Rock-a-rolla end of year charts, in fact it caused quite a stench wherever it was heard. "Channelling the no frills riffage of Black Flag and Melvins before drowning it under a sea of distorted feedback" said the heavy metal magazine Kerrang. "'Intense' is an overused description, but Hey Colossus deserve it. Utterly." wittered the doomed indie mag Plan B.
So be it.
File under Hey Colossus and the Van Halen Time Capsule. And nowhere else.
HEY COLOSSUS QUIETUS INTERVIEW
Click on the Quietus logo below to read an interview the mag conducted with Hey Colossus
I was just listening to Hey Colossus’ Happy Birthday a couple of nights ago. It was a starry night that bled through the branches below, I got my big expensive headphones on and I was feeling a little bit lightheaded. The music just overtook me. It was an amazing tsunami of noise, a tidal wave of low frequencies sipping through auditory cavities I didn’t know I had. Hey Colossus are undeniable and Happy Birthday could be the masterpiece in anybody’s discography. It is that simple. I just wish the drums had been more dominant. It’s that giant thump that lacks, it resonates at too far of a distance.
The time elapsed since Happy Birthday has served this Brits to grow one more limb to a six-piece formation. As this recording is titled, Eurogrumble Volume 1, it comes under the extended Hey Colossus and the Van Halen Time Capsule moniker and this is not a split. I searched for info regarding the Van Halen Time Capsule and I have come to the conclusion that’s just the extra dude.
Contrasting the sudden violence of the first cut of Happy Birthday is “Question” which opens this first volume via some pretty amorphous shit. I read in a couple of places that Hey Colossus were hipsters who made music for skinny people who wear black rimmed glasses. Well, that fucker was just plain wrong. There is nothing hip about this album. Let alone this beast of a song. If anything, the noise of this twelve-minute song should serve to test those who are in here for the pose.
A point could be made that Hey Colossus can’t differentiate between their noise and their sludge noise rock, but I can and I appreciate this album so much more when the band uses a drumset as its backbone. “13 Millers Court” drones in static fashion. Moving slowly but precisely those distorted vocals mock us with that ‘hohohohoho’. This sounds like Rrröööaaarrr-era Voi Vod played at the wrong revolutions. And closer "Wait Your Turn" is just mundane, awesomely mundane.
The band is also at its rumbling best in “Pope Long Haul II”, another one of those tunes for dog ears. It rocks steady, nothing unconventional there, but the unsophisticated recording gives them the edge. What’s crammed in between the rock is perhaps most of what The Van Halen Time Capsule has contributed and I could give two shits. If it is a matter of comparing this to Happy Birthday I go with the latter. Now Hay Colossus are way trippier but the other record didn’t fuck around in all the ways that this does.
Hey Colossus certainly know how to churn out the misanthropic, churning noise, don’t they? This is their sixth album (at least), coming along shortly after the previous one. I’m convinced that Hey Colossus were, in the past, some kind of joke and/or irony band, but now they sound totally serious. Can anybody sustain this amount of relentlessness and intensity, and not mean it?
There are eight tracks here. The two longest bookend the rest, suggesting a palindrome of a collection with the title track hovering around the centre. ‘Question’ is one long, hellish intro, with abstract guitar in the background, the occasional bass drone, and a Sunn o)))-style two-note riff chiming in to set the tone. This all seeps into a general miasma of noise in which distorted screams seem to float, everything rushing back and forward on the stereo channels. It really is somewhat full-on, and sets the tone perfectly. ‘13 Millers Court’ next solidifies the two-note riff into chugging, da-da-da repetition. Then come the vocals – like Aphex Twin’s ‘Come to Daddy’ gone further south. There’s a song in here, but it’s piled underneath a metric ton of noise and derangement. It’s like Can if they’d grown up in 1970s Birmingham. After ‘Shithouse’, a random noise collage, comes ‘Pope Long Haul III’, picking up the pace to something approximating Big Business/Melvins/Karp style thunking noise, which is then slammed repeatedly into a wall. It has some sort of groove, but buried underneath wailing screams, feedback and odd tinkles of what sound like electronic noise. This finally begins to expose itself, as the track disintegrates into something similar to Sonic Youth’s Bad Moon Rising connecting sound passages, before dropping into some kind of musique concrete weirdness.
At the album’s centre is ‘Eurogrumble’, which heads freefalling into a downward spiral. It’s got upbeat rhythm, dissonant noise, screaming and wailing, wound into a never-ending roll of energy. Out of this comes ‘Dredges’, a well-named shifting tectonic plate of a tune, with vocals become distorted to a point of disintegration. ‘King Come’ then reflects the earlier ‘13 Millers Court’ – (superb) riffs and structure, but played as if from the inside of Hawkwind’s broken speakers. Finally, ‘Wait Your Turn’ echoes ‘Question’ with a strident, portentous feel: slowly, heavily played notes tracing a path through the endless feedback and reverb, eventually collapsing into the intense and repeated hammering of a single note, voices burbling in the background, squelches and electronic squeaks gasping for air, as an insistent drumbeat attempts to tie it all together. Finally, it stutters to a halt, with no extended outro, no long fade, just silence.
So are Hey Colossus a joke band? I really don’t think so, and this album makes me think even more that perhaps they never were. There’s a moment about four minutes into ‘Eurogrumble’ where a guitar line peeps out of the noise – this proves effortlessly that the band are in full control, and have crafted this stuff very carefully. It’s pretty magnificent
Okay, next we come to
the magnificence of EUROGRUMBLE VOLUME ONE by Hey Colossus & the Van
Halen Time Capsule, a London six-piece whose transcendental form of Mung
Worship proves you don’t even have to mean it to bring forth great
rock’n’roll; you just have to keep turning up to rehearsals, keep
turning up the volume and always make sure you deploy one axe wielder
– Crass-stylee – whose sole role it is to bind the whole schmeer
together with molto molten feedback. Yup, despite being (apparently)
comprised of Fred Perry-clad supply teachers and ex-paras in rubgy
shirts, the overtly-macho and miserablist Hey Colossus rarely fail in
their quest for locating thee most bilious riffs and cumbersome rhythms
in Christendom, heck, it often sounds like three bands at once and three
great ones at that!
HEAD HERITAGE / JULIAN COPE
Vinyl only album, came out earlier this year, yes I know, late again, lost it under a pile of paintings and all the junk we deem not good enough for review and excuses excuses, don’t come here with excuses for late reviews and... Noise, but then you don’t expect a peaceful ride from Hey Colossus, no playing hot for teacher with Mr Ice Cream Man here and if their are Eruptions then they’re are far more violent than any of Eddie’s finger-tapping fretwanks. Actually there are no eruptions, more a slow pouring of heavy heavy molten larva wearing you down in that way of Colossus Eurogrumble invasion tour indeed, nothing what so ever in terms or references the mighty Van Halen, who knows what that title is all about. Out on heavy black vinyl, the six men of the Colossus battling it out with barbed guitars, with evil fuzz and feedback. Those primitive screams and low-end growls might be human voices or they may be pained guitars, nothing can be sure, those are voices aren’t they? Or at least human noises..?. Violent goodness, Melvins-fresh, growing riff fest ripping away through the swamp of doom and those are almost words... primitive words in there with the riot of noise and the corrosive violence and the slowly pulling apart of everything. This is metal, serious note throttling metallic deconstruction and big walls of violent slow-moving crushing noise laying waste to all in the path of the Hey Colossus monster.. One whole piece of never ending music (in eight parts), a relentlessly heavy experience, as unobvious as ever, as vital as ever, one of those band who’ll never let you down, one of those who’ll always challenge, they did it again, glorious noise.
Latest Teutonic slab of colossal crunch from these slow motion UK sludge lords, and since we've last heard them, they have appended their already odd monicker with the even more confusional “And The Van Halen Time Capsule”. But don't expect any drastic changes, or anything remotely Van Halen like, right out of the gate these guys throw down hard, demonstrating again, that even though they still tend to slip beneath most folks' radar, they might be one of the best slow and low heavy bands happening these days.
A boiling cauldron of sonic black tar is upended and so begins the first track, as the black sludge oooooozes from the speakers, glacial riffage, weird looped samples, crushing 16rpm black hole drum plod, all sorts of gnarled glitchy distortion and buzz, which gives way to something weirdly dramatic, vocals clean and crooned one second, processed and garbled the next, while the music gets downright pretty, before spiraling into jagged shards of hiss and howl, the rest of the band stumbling back to a funereal crawl, and that's just the first song.
The rest of the record is a dizzying assault of midtempo noiserock pound, drugged out abstract ambience, downtuned throbbing sludge, twisted crusty dooooom, and heavy heavy drones, but it's not just the sounds, it's what these guys do with them. The riffs don't just buzz, they drip and ooze and creep, the vocals are inhuman and alien, totally disturbing, the guitars chug and churn and rumble, the songs veer from total ultra dooooom to twisted post rock lumber, to abstract hypnorock stutter, to weird epic almost chamber sounding sludge, taking something filthy and foul and making it majestic. Not sure why these guys are not HUGE, but anyone into Harvey Milk, and other practitioners of slow low crush and dense doomic dronemusic, should definitely be freaking out over these guys, and this record.
Customer information leaflet for Eurogrumble Vol. 1 by Hey Colossus And The Van Halen Time Capsule :
what is in your record?
your record is called eurogrumble vol. 1 and is held on a black 12” circular disc of polyvinyl chloride. the active experimental ingredient belongs to the following: doom, krautrock, metal, noise, sludge, psychedelic.
eight tracks are available.
product license holder/manufacturer:
what is your record for?
eurogrumble vol. 1 may be used in the treatment of the following conditions and symptoms:
the question – sufferers may experience the otherworldly crackle and hiss of needle on vinyl. delusions of phil collins’ in the air tonight indicate the onset of this illness. this will quickly fade and be replaced by a mogadon-warm burbling in the stomach with occasional neural twanging of banjo and the thick chug of doom. if you hear voices while taking this medication do not panic. this is your conscience attempting to leave the body. continue listening. there is no escape and these sensations will pass.
13 millers court – a feverish (un)predictable deep-rooted sexual psychosis, first attributed to sir william gull c. 1888. symptoms include buzzing, bottom-heavy bass plods, bellowed tourettes-like vocalisation and loss of bowel control. subject will be drawn towards grinding doom monochording, viscious, viscous distortion and east end prostitutes. a foul stench of industrial victorian squalor may be emitted.
shithouse – (note this is a variation of whitehouse, first diagnosed england, 1980)
pope longhaul iii – subject suffers ailments similar to slow motion sabbathy hole in the sky. sideffects may include headaches brought on by wet drum thump, satanik vox, monotonic swampy squealing feedback (see whitehouse above) as guitars, feverishly overdriven, burst into an unmajestic, grimaceandgrin-inducing wall of black muck howl. cottonmouth and/or brain fug may be experienced, not disimilar to hearing the jesus lizard wading through a bath of tar.
eurogrumble – for the symptomatic relief of severe mood swings: including hysteria induced by mechabeats, big bass electro-thud noise, combined with monged evildisco incantations and the claustrophobic hard rawk beattery and squall of overdriven thirtyodd guitar string repeato-abuse. like robert palmer gone utterly utterly mad and horribly horribly wrong. prolonged use may result in addiction to fuzz (might as well face it). sufferers complain of an overblown helios creed-like discharge, but with additional swelling of peripheral limbs.
kingdom come – migraine-like throbbing sensations, dizzying sways and a crushing heavy weight pressing down on the chest may be experienced. patients willing to indulge lingering, gonzo, melvins-style unhyperactive riffing and godless shrieking should find symptons ease after four minutes. some incidences of auditory hallucinations similar to those found in severe cases of type 2 ironus monkeyus with inadequate glycemic control have been recorded.
wait your turn – symptoms include vertiginous chord crunch, dizzying pick scrape and ghost voice radio-tuning delirium. whisky may be used to alleviate discomfort. take one riff as necessary. do not use in conjunction with any other riffs. if ailment does not clear after three days, or a course of fourteen repeated listens, please consult your doctor. users of this medication may experience abrupt comedown after fifty minutes.
before listening to your record:
if your answer to any of the following questions is yes then you should consult your pharmacist or doctor before listening.
using your record:
follow the instructions on the label.
dose: unless otherwise directed take as necessary.
do not give to children under 6 years of age.
while listening to your record:
some records may cause unwanted side effects. if, after listening to eurogrumble vol. 1 for the first time you develop an allergic reaction – stop listening immediately and consult your doctor. very occasionally it has been known for hey colossus and the van halen time capsule to cause liver, kidney, pancreas and blood problems.
storing your record:
keep eurogrumble vol. 1 in a safe place where children cannot see or reach it. hey colossus and the van halen time capsule may be harmful to them. store below twenty five degrees celcius in a dry place. protect from light.
hey colossus and the van halen time capsule (ˈhā kə-ˈlä-səs ən(d) thə van hālen tīm kap-səl)
1. an expanding collective, possibly of english origin, characterised by the coexistence of willfully contradictory and incompatibly ugly elements.
eurogrumble vol. 1(yu̇r-(ˌ)ōgrəm-bəl vol wən)
1. an expression of the aforementioned contradictory and incompatible ugly elements pulled together into a slab of hideous atomic genius.
How's that for a bizzare title? And apparently its meaning is only known by the band themselves, great!
HC have perhaps released their dirtiest-sounding album yet, I know it must seem I've said that before, but really, what a horrible audio mess.
This vinyl-only and brilliantly-packaged release is their umpteenth (seriously prolific band with more to come no doubt) and seems to feature, as well as the band themselves, a cacophony of film samples, radio snippets and all manner of industrial clanging, all set to 'stun' as it transpires.
The songs meld even more than usual into a thick viscous gloop, and the vocals range from grumbles (get it?) to black metal screeches, to what can only be described as tramp-babble, all wonderfully manipulated with what must be rust-encrusted pedals that smell a bit.
The usual jam-style songs play themselves out like Indian ragas filtered through horrendous amounts of fuzz, but it's all for the best as it sounds great, as hypnotic as they've ever been and full of vim and vigour. I can only imagine how satisfyingly horrid this will sound live.
One day, HC will surpass themselves in terms of how filthy they can get and that record will sound like Wolf Eyes, enjoy them before it becomes unintelligible.
Eurogrumble is the fifth album from Hey Colossus, who return with a freshly augmented six-man line-up. This album comes on limited edition vinyl only, with a pressing of just 500 copies, so no hanging around. The sound is tremendously vicious on this album, relying on Melvins-style bruising riffs one moment and then soupy mists of fever-dream, freeform distortion the next. It's the combination of hard-hitting sludge metal with the more amorphous, experimental tendencies that's the key here, and even when the band seem to be taking a step back from directly assailing your ears they still manage to kick up a ferocious ill wind, venting forth plumes of feedback like noxious swamp gasses. Heavy and nasty in all the right ways.
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