HEY COLOSSUS /
LISTEN TO THIS RELEASE VIA BANDCAMP BELOW
So here it is, the first
release on Black Labs, sister label to UK label Riot Season. A limited
edition 500 only split vinyl LP featuring two of the toughest cocks on
Hey Colossus have just one track on this, the latest in their growing line of full-length releases. And full-length it certainly is: their ‘Eyes For An Eye / Unlive Wire / Ain’t No Love In The Mallet’ medley is over twenty-one minutes in length, and it’s pretty gruelling stuff. I’m sure that this band started out as something of a joke, or a fun side project – and I don’t mean that in a pejorative way, just that I’m not sure at what point in their career they became this brutal. This isn’t twenty-plus minutes of screaming and noise, however; it’s more unsettling than that. They create a whirling, miasmic confusion of echoing sound and muttering, distant voices, that’s as frightening as it is compelling and, frankly, weird. Dethscalator pitch in with five tracks of – in this context – far more normal music. Extract these tracks into their own release however, and they’d be pretty surreal in themselves: strangled, urgent vocals sputtered over growling pseudo-black metal riffing and moody, stalking rhythms. They’re at their most effective when they warp things out a bit, especially on the fantastically-named ‘You Know Nothing About Cars Or Martial Arts’, on which the vocals are special-effected into all kinds of weird places, over a never-ending repetition of riff that pounds the listener into the kind of delirious, happy dark place that Circle manage to do when at their most rockingest. This is the first release from Riot Season offshoot Black Labs, and it’s set the bar pretty high. More!
UK-based noise/stoner rock trio Hey Colossus first emerged back in 2004 with their debut album on Jonson Family Hey Colossus Hates You and this latest 500 copy only split vinyl release on Riot Season’s new sister label Black Labs sees them teaming up with fellow UK bloodyminded newcomers Dethscalator. On the A-side, Hey Colossus open up proceedings with ‘Eyes For An Eye / Unlive Wire / Ain’t No Love In The Mallet’, three tracks that seamlessly segue into one 21 minute long piece that traverses its way from unintelligible background vocal murmurs and delayed-out electronic flutters into a chugging, downtuned and doom-laden stoner rock midsection, before eventually emerging out the other side into a cacaphonous wash of roaring looped feedback and distorted screaming. The overall effect generated is not totally dissimilar to Black Dice’s effects pedal-driven wall of noise attack, but over on the flipside Dethscalator manage to take things out on a completely different trajectory with their five tracks. Juddering, overdriven offerings such as ‘A Festival Of Sticks’ and ‘You Know Nothing About Cars Or Martial Arts’ see Dethscalator welding sludge-heavy, monotonous metal guitar riffs with clattering tribal drums and distorted yelped vocals, the resulting unhinged atmosphere calling to mind some twisted fusion between ‘Locust Abortion Technician’-era Butthole Surfers and The Melvins. While there’s perhaps little here in the way of surprises, those looking to batter their speaker cones with sludgy yet cathartic unrelenting noise should find this well worth seeking out
"Limited edition of just 500 slabs of vinyl and an experimental noisefest of a split album that’s bizarrely soothing and rather therapeutic. You got noise from Hey Colossus and more noise from Dethscalator – “Black Labs unites two of Britain’s creamiest, hadiest, hell mongers...” but this doesn’t sound like my idea of hell. Hell is an unpleasant place full of disagreeable noise and people and shapes and colours you don’t want to spend even the smallest amount of time an space with - this is soothing, this is indeed creamy, this is an aural massage of boiled up noise and what should be excruciating is in fact rather relaxing and enjoyable, cerebral, soothing, an ambient acid bath of heavy heavy (heavy) rust-peeling corroding unhinged goodness – we’re bathing in the Hey Collossus deprivation tank here, three long instrumental sculptures that may or may not be taking us anywhere other than coiling around an unlive wire, while their weigh up eyes for an eye.... Dethscalator are a little more traditionally focused in the sense that they have actually songs that start and finish, words and screams about being sold down the river, evil riffs and that’s a disturbing man shouting over those disturbing riffs. Massive riffs and what is he on about, kind of person you avoid on tube trains, get off a stop or two early for fear of being the last one left in the carriage with him... Mean acid-drenched blackhearted blues-tinged slow-churning heavy metal, riffs that are even more corrosive and skin splitting than those Hey Collossus baths. A tag team pincer movement, first Hey Collossus soften up your senses then these mean bastard Dethscalators move in for the sadistic twisted kil and the picking of your bones – all slow and in their own trapped feedback-drenched time. Putridly good and all gone wrong at the end of the dream. All Amebix raw and no one driving. Who the f is driving this record? Where we going? Victim flaying metal noise and evil doom riffs and these Dethscalator people are wholesomely good good good. Forty minutes and two bands who perfectly complement each other, fine fine album, play it again, love it to bits, turn it up, play it again, pass the paint...dragging you down their dim well? Dragging us up, putrid euphoria..."
Noisy great slabs of smacked-out unfettered darknessThough it seems like a very modern phenomenon, in actual fact the practice of creating a musical vehicle in order to make the most brutal, fearsome, face-erasing noise on the planet is in fact nothing new ”‘ see for instance early ‘80’s post punk mobs the Stretch Heads (recommended track “Three Pottery Owls (With Innuendo)”�) or the more fearsome Whitehouse (“A Cunt Like You”� always cheers my nan up after she’s been having a bit of a blue day). I’m sure jazz afficionadoes could point to earlier examples.
Anyway, once you are acclimatised to that kind of thing, the far-less-tuneless likes of Hey Colossus or indeed their splitmates Dethscalator seem almost musical in comparison. Hey Colossus are the more well-known of the pair, specialising in drawn-out abstract jams which recall some of Hawkwinds forays into deepest space via the medium of strong hallucinogenics and outrageously loud amplifiers.
Dethscalator also apply the jamming principle to their work one suspects, though in their case the notes are clearer and occasionally repeat phrases in an almost conventional way. There’s even vocals, albeit vocals reminiscent of Mark E Smith vomiting into a dustbin. These kids are alright, you know.
"Available as a limited edition slab of vinyl, “Hey Colossus Vs Dethscalator” is a split release that has noise tattooed across its forehead in large fucking letters. Containing just one long Piece, split into sections, Hey Colossus start with bass rumbles and swathes of white noise before a monster riff kicks in, distorted as hell, the band sounding like a doom metal band lost in the depths of Hades, the dark atmosphere further enhanced as the riff splinters into a thousand spinning shards of noise, an implosion of sound that is relentless.
Side two belongs to Dethscalator, who have five tracks on offer, with the opening “Festival of Sticks” attempting to shatter the senses, with some murderous riffing creating a dark platform for distorted paranoid vocals. On “Canadians”, thing get slowed down, the noise just as brutal, drowning in tar has never been this much fun before, the fun extended with the stooge-like riffing of “You Know Nothing About Cars or Martial Arts”. A fine pairing of bands that works really well, making for a perfect collection.
"A pair of the finest extreme groups currently tearing through the UK underground vie for supremacy on this inaugural split release from Black Labs, sister label of the lauded West Midlands-based Riot Season. Hey Colossus weigh in with three suitably imposing new tracks that forgo the rancorous sound of their "Happy Birthday" full length for some seriously tripped out freak rock jams. Their roaring trilogy of translucent psychedelia is swollen with crashing riffs, feedback death screams and a fleeting, mesmerising homage to AC/DC.
Dethscalator tip the scales with five tracks that are a gripping entry into their world of gloriously dishevelled garage sludge. These songs are cut from a fractious, agitated cloth. Lumbering, zombie-like grooves sway with a howling swagger all of their own, their closeted, wrangled guitar noise is wrestled to the ground by the mortal yelps of their commandingly incoherent vocalist. Less an album than a bracing fumigation of the senses, it's also a highly auspicious start for this dark new venture."
"Latest eruption of
doom-sludge-drone heaviness from UK kill team Hey Colossus, here teamed
up with the awesomely named Dethscalator, but more on them in a second.
"Next up a split available from Black Labs (a new sister label to Riot season with this being the first release). Veteran d.i.y stomp boxers Hey Colossus start things of low key style but soon erupt into a foaming mass of riffage and inaudible psycho-babble vocals. These are long, hypnotic mega tunes with massive reverb saturated drums and immense amounts of guitar feedback that practically saturates opener 'Eyes for an eye'. Can i hear a saxophone in there? Maybesssss......
NKOTB (New Kids on the Block) dethscalator take a slightly more straight forward approach on these five tracks yet they are no less effective in their mission. I'm totally loving the riffage presented here and the vocals are a truly disturbing combination of manic taunts and yelps. Sort of reminds me of Pissed Jeans and The Jesus Lizard (especially that fearsome vocal). This is a totally rocking beast and the back cover features a headless biker riding a Harley Davidson.....what more do you want? Eh?"
"Hey Colossus on vinyl? Again? Yep.
This time the seventh wonders of the south team up with London/Brighton types Dethscalator for another dose of mindfuck what-will-they-do-next action.
Thankfully it's another surprise, the sound here rolls out of the speakers wrapped in the usual layer of fuzz but no actual SONG materialises for a while.
No matter, for what occurs is a stalking, bass-laden beast that starts the one-track, three-part composition with abstract drones and whistles before a frankly Wizard-like riff comes in all wonderfully doom with the addition of what sounds like bagpipes that works extremely well. Static swathes cut through the end of the track and make it sound like old walkie-talkie recordings, more of this please. The second part starts in a garbled, squeaking and restrained way before cracking into an all-out uber-phase-out that wouldn't sound out of place in black and white re-runs of Patrick Troughton Dr Who episodes. All in all, another inventive release from a band that seem to have total creative freedom and intend to run with it.
Dethscalator on the other hand, and other side, rip through their tracks with a much more fevered pace, the sludge via Jesus Lizard style they have grown into comes across as both a slap to the face and a filthy exercise in fuzz.
Vocals hold the monotony together with a drunken drawl that takes pointers from Eugene Robinson's growling, yelping and frightening lexicon. The music pummels away satisfyingly, but its the contortions that ex-Hunting Lodge vocalist Dan makes that keep the band interesting.
Song titles are pretty righteous too, 'Kicking The Horns Off A Bull' anyone?"
ABOUT THE BANDSDETHSCALATOR are from Stoke Newington in London and formed in the deep winter of 2007 after Stu, Matthew and Ben were kicked out of the cast of Cats the musical. After months of scouring personal ads Ben came across Dan's profile. His interest in Black Sabbath and ZZ Top piqued his interest, not to mention his martial arts experience. Dan joined the band from his previous band Hunting Lodge as singer and Percy soon followed, possibly tempted by greed, because everyone knows noise-rock bands make lots and lots of cash.
Fast forward six months and DETHSCALATOR are renowned throughout London as masters of tempo. They have songs ranging from 88 bpm all the way up to 93 bpm. This has landed them on bills with the likes of Pissed Jeans, Whitehouse, Acid Mothers Temple, and Fucked Up. Comparisons with the likes of early Sabbath or Electric Wizard are not quite correct. DETHSCALATOR deliver heavy dinosaur balls but with the spastic inflection of bands like Scratch Acid, Butthole Surfers or US Maple. You should definitely go to their concerts and buy ALL their merchandise.
HEY COLOSSUS started five years ago to the day. Based in South fucking London. The
bands initial ultimate aim: Fudge Tunnel V. Can. First gig was at the
Buffalo Bar, Highbury Corner, September '03, with Trencher. January '04
the debut album 'HATES YOU' was released, 12" only. "This'll
have your mum in floods of tears. Good; Hey Colossus hates your mum.
(4.5 / 5)" said INDIE ROCK Website Drowned In Sound. What did they
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