/ BLOWN OUT
LISTEN TO THIS RELEASE VIA BANDCAMP BELOW
LIMITED EDITION COLOURED (250 GREEN / 250 PURPLE) VINYL LP. HOUSED IN A 350GSM BOARD PRINTED OUTER SLEEVE WITH BLACK INNER BAG
SLEEVE ARTWORK - ONE SLEEVE WITH TWO 'FRONTS'. TURN IT WHICH WAY YOU PREFER
A. COMACOZER - BinBeal (17:58)
B. BLOWN OUT - Terraform / Void Sucker / Hook Up The Telepath (19:54)
The first slab in a possible new split series titled 'In Search Of Highs'
Both the bands here are instrumental trio's, BLOWN OUT (UK) & COMACOZER (Australia) are interlinked by history and their shared love of sonic psych explorations and both are here for Phase 1 of this cosmic experience.
You will no doubt already know the two bands gracing this first slab of wax. They're from worlds apart, geographically that is, but musically are very much on the same plain.
Both bands have multiple releases behind them, and this one is sure to pick them up new fans aplenty.
Blown Out deliver three relatively short (for them) blasts, channelling their inner Stooges / Marble Sheep coming on like grand funk space lords. Three tracks of groove sonics and head changes.
Comacozer go the opposite route and slide in with another of their trademark epic trips, that sucks everything around it into it's own cosmic gloop.
There are 500 copies available. Half pressed on green wax and half on purple. Take your pick, or pick both.
So the question is...how do you follow something like that Anthroprophh album? Well, with something just as heavy and just as powerful of course...and this one fits the bill perfectly. 'In Search Of Highs Vol. 1' is the first in an exciting new series (we hope!) from Riot Season. This first volume sees a cosmic pairing - 2 leviathans of fuzz (both favourites of this blog) who, despite being from opposite sides of this revolving lump of rock, have a shared love of all things loud, heavy and fuzzy - namely Blown Out and Comacozer. It is an inspired pairing and if this is indicative of how this series could pan out then it could be something very, very exciting indeed.
Blown Out need no introduction to regular readers of this blog. The band, from North East UK, have a prodigious output and their distinctive sound has garnered many, many discerning fans. The one thing for which they are known is their penchant for long, nay epic, galactic forays that see an album consisting of just two tracks, so it comes as some surprise to see that their contribution to this album is 3 tracks, 2 of which are sub 6 minutes. However, fear not readers, because these tracks flow so beautifully that they form a seamless whole...a suite of songs if you will. 'Terraform' sees the band instantly launching into what they do best...huge riffs that roll out of the speakers like some cosmic tsunami.. the distinctive repetitive bass over which Mike Vest weaves his magic. Vest has an uncanny way with his guitar, it is controlled mayhem - genuine freakout psych but you always feel that Vest has a hold on it, there's no danger of it running wild - a tightness of form that allows a freedom of expression. It is this control that make Blown Out what they are...absolute masters of heavy, spacey psych...there really is no-one to touch them. 'Void Sucker' is under five minutes in length but what it lacks in length it makes up for in sheer psychedelic power. A tad faster than 'Terraform' but speed isn't the key with this band..it's about the density and this is dense! Layers of roiling riffs over a rock-solid rhythm section.....it's like a heavy psychedelic amuse bouche. 'Hook Up The Telepath' is the final track from Blown Out and, after an extended, dissonant intro full of feedback and squalls of static, settles into another superlative jaunt around the solar system accompanied by more black hole sized riffs and pummelling drums. There really is no-one quite like Blown Out.
Denizens of Australia, Comacozer are another band beloved by this blog and 'In Search Of Highs' sees them contribute what may well be their best yet. Just the one track, 'BinBeal', but what a track! Opening in a slow and sedate fashion with trippy wah-wah and undulating bass, it really lulls you into a false sense of tranquillity. The build-up is slow, so slow that it becomes almost unnoticable....the drums enter and become more pronounced, the bassline becomes more strident and that guitar...heavenly! It is around the ten minute mark when the full Comacozer effect hits..the guitar transforms from benevolent peace bringer to a harbinger of doom - quite literally. When it comes to full blown psychedelic doom, no-one can touch these guys...they take the doom tropes of heaviness, of slow, down-tuned guitars but combine it with a light psychedelic touch. Seriously, and I've been saying this for a while now, these guys should be huge! From thereon in the track ebbs and flows, after a period of scorching psych it settles back down to the same hypnotic blissfulness from the start. The twenty minute or so span of the track positively flies by..a tour de force of psychedelic doom.
Much credit must go to Andy at Riot Season - the whole 'In Search Of Highs' concept is an exciting one and I sincerely hope that there is more to come. This particular pairing, however, is inspired - the cosmic heaviness of Blown Out works so well with the no less psychedelic but more doom inflected track from Comacozer, two sides of the same coin if you will - two bands on top of their game and contributing to a wonderful, wonderful album. The album is released on March 16th and I would get yourself down to local retailer to score one because they have (unsurprisingly) sold out on pre-order via Riot Season.
In what looks to be the first in a new series of split releases from the ever excellent Riot Season label, In Search Of Highs Volume 1 takes two underground space rock giants, and puts them against each other in an attempt to change time, space, and your mind. At least that’s what it feels like, as bothBlown Out and Comacozer deliver a masterclass in fucked up lysergic rock. Deep, intense, and probably spiritual somewhere along the line, this ain’t for the fainthearted.
Unusually for Blown Out, they use the space to deliver three shorter slabs of psychedelic goodness, rather than their usual expansive trips. The repetitive riffs remain, as does the full on wall of sound displacement that they have become such masters at. They sound much more raw here though, as if you are standing next to them in the studio, which adds to the short, sharp shock to the synapses. In place of the zoned out mind is a speed fuelled intensity.
‘Void Sucker’ is the highlight of the three tracks, where they build on a sub-Hawkwind riff to reach what can only be described as ecstatic highs. For all their “rooted in the garage” feel, they still manage to throw you completely out into space. The very reason they are one of the best space rock bands around is that they recognise the certain chord changes, riffs and repetitions that cause such loss of normal awareness. Magnificent as always.
Just as good is the lengthier ‘Binbeal’ from Comacozer. A much more chilled out affair, its dub inflected space bounces around inside your cranium like some niggling LSD trip, not quite letting you out of its grip. It’s a beautiful piece of music which demonstrates why the Aussie band are held in such high regard. They could have gone heavy, but instead opt for a more leisurely approach to offset the tumultuous sound of Blown Out. It makes for a satisfyingly high listen as the two opposing bands join in curious synergy.
Where this series of splits goes next, we will have to wait to see, but as a starter for ten it really doesn’t get much better than this. A release for the more hardened psych-head, it’s a release which provides both a satisfying high for older fans, whilst offering an easier way in for the initiated who don’t quite want to jump straight into one of their albums just yet. Either way, it does it’s job, and does it remarkably well.
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