Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I can't recall in the entire history of this blog (nearly three and a half years old, fact fans) writing a music review. Neither Val Doonican or Kenny G. have released anything of note in that period, so I haven't really felt the need. However, in the case of this little gem I'll make an exception.
Colonics are a three piece post-rock band from Brighton (Dan - Guitar, Ashley - Bass/Kaoss Pad, Trudy - Drums), and what terrifying little noise merchants they are. I'll be honest - I downloaded the Colonics first EP (1.0) a short while back and simply hadn't gotten around to listening to it - too many other albums came out in a short period of time that seemed to be priority on my listening list. The second was released a short while back (1.5) and was duly downloaded again, but this time I thought I'd give it some time - and thus it became the soundtrack to last Sunday afternoon, and has been pretty much a constant on my iPod since. Hence, my need to blog about it.
Before my thoughts on the EP itself, It's interesting that I chose to listen to it on Sunday instead of my usual afternoons mixed delights of Stuart Maconie's Freakzone on 6Music, a brainstrew of weird and wonderful experiment prog and post rock tunes. Freakzone is usually hit and miss, the odd piece of genius interspersed with a 17 minute collection of somebody with cymbals strapped to their knees shrieking in Hungarian into a wheely bin. The first odd thing that came to mind - and I'm attempting to justify this to myself without doing Colonics an injustice - when listening to 1.5 was that it was like listening to a really good episode of Freakzone. Albeit one without Stuart Maconie saying things in between the tunes such as "And now a new one from the Swedish experimental Jazz Trio Joyless Hat Brigade".
Further down the Microscope sounds to me like one of more experimental tracks on the EP, five minutes of (semi) organised chaos. Perfectly listenable, but probably one of the weakest tracks on the album in my humble opinion, and a few minutes too long.
Create your Look strikes me as being one of the more conventional tracks on the EP and is none the worse for it. Indeed, it (and a later track) are probably my favourite ones on the EP. You'll never hear a better three minutes of doom-laden guitar. I/O, the following live track, is the sound of an microscopic alien invasion taking place on your parietal lobe. Threatening, scary and quite, quite special.
Superhero is a slice of upbeat noisy guitar, conjuring up memories (if you can remember that far back) of the EPs opener. If I ever get around to writing my eight volume graphic novel opus and it's commisioned into a cartoon series, I may well ask Colonics if I can use this as the theme tune. Closing track In The Murk is a sludgy chunk of white noise and feedback. ..Murk isn't my cup of tea, to be fair, but a neat (and short enough to not outstay its welcome) way to finish this interesting EP.
Intrigued? You should be. It's an excellent EP which convinces me that I really need to drag my sorry ass down to Brighton and see them live. It almost makes me feel guilty for not listening to the Colonics first EP 1.0 now, which I'll have to rectify - if only to listen to the original version of Persephone.
Both 1.0 and 1.5 are available for free download from Bandcamp in whatever format you could possibly ever want them in (short of 8 track and some proprietary formats only used in Belgium) so what have you got to lose? Other than a few megabytes of hard drive space, easily scared pets or visiting members of the church, anyway.