Amplification moves air and gestures to the celestial. A splitter van parks in a service station. The afterglow of the stage. The weight of a bass cab up a steep flight of metal stairs. Hey Colossus are no strangers to the dualities of life as a loud rock band.
But more importantly, they know how to channel both facets into records that transcend all limitations in a blinding volley of incandescence. Dances/Curses – their lucky thirteenth record – is the work of six musicians at the peak of their considerable powers of intuition and inspiration.
Constant motion is also something Hey Colossus know a little about, now into their eighteenth year as a band in a never-ending search for new trouble and new epiphanies. When this iteration of the band – which came together around the making of their last release, 2019’s ‘Four Bibles’, geographically spread between Somerset, Watford, London, Nottingham and Sheffield – first began work the chemistry apparently took care of itself, with their meetings at weekend rehearsals seeing them undergo a process less like jamming and more like a particularly intensive form of instant composition.
Whatever sparks were spontaneously flying in these initial sessions, they gave rise to enough material to make Dances/Curses a double record, running the gamut from the rhythmically-driven, infectiously melodic songcraft of ‘Donkey Jaw’ and ‘Medal’ via the slow-burning atmospherics of ‘U Cowboy’ to the mightily motorik-driven 15 minute travelogue that is ‘A Trembling Rose’, which takes in a plethora of unified headspaces in richly cinematic style. Longterm Hey Colossus fan Mark Lanegan makes an appearance amidst the languid and sun-soaked denouement of ‘The Mirror’, the existential gravitas of his tones entirely at home in these revelatory surroundings.
Fittingly for a band who operate entirely by their own co-ordinates, Dances/Curses is released on bassist Joe Thompson’s own Wrong Speed Records (and Learning Curve Records in the US), his latest such venture in a lifetime of steadfast belief in the DIY maxim, “It’s time for all bands to take control of their shit” he notes. All the tools are there to do it yourself. Back your own horse. It’s practical. It’s positive. There’s a chance things will never be the same, if change doesn’t happen now it never will.”
Teeth of the Sea
From the basements of East London,Teeth Of The Sea have forged forward intrepidly over twelve years, four albums and two EPs to become heralded as the UK’s most adventurous and unclassifiable outfit in the realm of the psychedelic. As inspired by virulent garage-driven noise as austere avant-garde experimentation and driven by soundtrack atmospherics, jazz exploration and electronic dissonance alike, they’ve outgrown their original influences (Butthole Surfers, Eno, Goblin, Aphex Twin, Throbbing Gristle) to forge a sound both richly celestial and acidically synapse-scorching.
It’s a journey that’s taken them to European festivals like Roadburn, Milhoes De Festa, Eindhoven Psych Lab and Incubate, seen them perform specially curated live soundtrack work in Romania, Cork and CERN, and led them to devastate UK events like Supersonic, Supernormal, Latitude, Bestival and Green Man – all the while forging forward heedlessly into chaos and fresh discovery anew. With their fifth album “Wraith” released by Rocket Recordings in early 2019, Teeth Of The Sea continued to blaze forth with enlightenment and irreverence to the fore. Who knows where they’ll arrive, but be prepared to brace yourself and bear witness.