When I heard that Tim Cedar, vocalist and guitarist in UK noise kings Part Chimp had joined a band called Hey Colossus (on drums) I figured I’d better check this hot new band out. It turns out I was well out of the loop and that they had already been going ten years and had released seven albums!! (Hey, fuck you, I never said I was hip).
You know how it is, so much noise to enjoy, so little time…
As I kind of hoped and expected, this ever expanding bunch of ne’er do wells, currently 8 strong, play music so sludgy you have to play it loud to blow it off the speakers, before it coagulates into black treacly scabs.
It really kicks off in style with ‘Hot Grave’, a cantankerous Pissed Jeans/ Part Chimp/ Tad-style sleazy stomp. It’s kind of what I expected, but the shimmering ‘Computer Love’ synths which grow in prominence throughout let you know that Hey Colossus have more up their greasy sleeves.
‘Okktave Doktor’ has a tarpit bass drag and a satanic Melvins vibe going on. It’s creepy, unpleasant and as different as it is from the opener you’re beginning to understand the Hey Colossus sound. ‘How to tell time with Jesus’, really reveals the bands’ Damo Suzuki era Can influence. Chirruping insect noises and a proggy guitar loop lead into shouty, weird vocals, motorik grooves and heavy psychedelic malice. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a band attempt to update and pervert the “Tago Mago” sound of Can to such winning effect.
Not everything works perfectly. ‘Leather Lake’ is angry doom with echo chamber vocals: the soundtrack to a cider and LSD induced nightmare, but not it’s quite scary enough. I don’t think this a reflection of just how twisted I’ve become after listening to half this album, but you never know…It is however heavy as FUCK. As is next track, the glitch-drone horror, motorik metal hybrid (yes, really) ‘English Flesh’. God, this is evil and is like an unpleasant taxi ride round the autobahn in the company of Satyricon and Neu! You’ll want to wash your ears out afterwards….and probably change your underwear. Along with ‘Hot Grave’ this is the one that will keep you awake at night.
It must be time for a breather by now, and Hey Colossus realise this and provide it on the closing track. ‘Pit and Hope’ quite rightly brings it down a level or three on the evil-noise-o-meter with acoustic, mournful eeriness which becomes infused with krautrock flavoured spooktronica. It shows the band stretching out, finding subtler ways to disturb you and again providing new thrills for lovers of Can, Faust and sludge-core. If that includes you then you must hear this album, but maybe leave the lights on until you’re crazy enough to survive in “Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo” land.