Boss Keloid: Melted On The Inch (Holy Roar Records)
Holy Roar have really established themselves as purveyors of high quality interesting new music, recently we’ve had Conjurer and Mol but now they’ve really out done themselves by getting the release for the third record from Wigan progressive, space stoners Boss Keloid. Having started out a sludge act this third record takes leaps into the great blue yonder with one of the best records I’ve heard this year, firstly it’s a grower only opening up into something truly spectacular after repeated plays, it doesn’t hang around either at six elongated tracks the album gets into its groove quickly and takes you on a weed powered journey into the unknown.
There is of course a strong doom/stoner sound to the album but it’s what they do with it that makes this record truly masterful, each track is expressive with a dynamic range of sounds delighting the ears as the stop-start Chronosiam bleeds into the jazzy but with smashing riffs Tarku Shavel each pairing Mastodonesque shouted vocals with Hawkwind space psych. The five piece benefits from the two guitars that can bring syncopated leads over the top of crushing stoner doom riffs while the keys twist and escalate the whole songs onto another plain. Melted On The Inch sounds so fresh that at times you’d think they were inventing a new genre. Peykruve starts with some tribal sounds and jazz-inflected percussion, the psych styled Jromalih is a trippy middle section that ramps up into a failing final part, Lokannok has a killer electronic keyboard coda and a real darkness to it as it builds into yet more heavy but oh so melodic mastery.
I mentioned Mastodon earlier and they are always seen as being at the forefront of the progressive/stoner/doom/sludge movement turning Neurosis influences into golden age progressive rock workouts but Boss Keloid do it with a rare elegance and the careless abandon of Clutch. In a world where so many bands try to play safe they’ve thrown out the book changing the rules as they contort the ‘rules’ of structuring and genre’s by just doing what feels right for the song. With the crushing grooves on final track Griffonbrass you have been privy to band who have matured into a diverse musical force. Melted On The Inch is in my Top 10 already and it’s only April folks! 9/10
Reigning Days: Eclipse (Marshall Records)
Paul saw Reigning Days in Fuel late last year with King Creature and while he wasn't won over there is quite a bit here to enjoy. It's not what we normally review here as Devonshire trio Reigning Days have the arena rock of Biffy Clyro (Gravity), the electo-prog of Muse (Chemical) and even the staccato The Arctic Monkeys (Friendly Fires) meaning it's music more at home in the pages of Kerrang or on the airways of Radio 1, there's nothing wrong with that but for many who prefer the more indie style of rocking then Dan Steer, Joe Sansome and Jonny Finnis will have you in their pocket for all 14 tracks of this album. For me much like my colleague the music here is a little too lightweight and too long with not a huge amount of differentiation over 14 songs. I'm not saying that it isn't good it's just not my thing really. 6/10
Temples On Mars: Temples On Mars (Primordial Records)
As the bristling guitars of this album weave in during intro Bon Voyage you can hear the discord start to build as Gods & Kings starts the album proper, the djent riffs cut swathes through the melodic layers on this debut album from London based progressive rockers Temples On Mars. It's music that's made for this modern age of progressive music fusing the alternative edge with intelligent complex musical soundscapes. The album has several songs that hook you in before the groove heavy riffs get your head nodding with appreciation, So In Love With Your Own Drug is an ideal example of this as it's got a solid foundation of thumping bass driven riffs with a hooky chorus, while How Far Will You Go builds into the the euphoric final third and Black Mirror is a triumph of melody and technicality. Temples On Mars is a complicated but easy to digest album with some thick Tool passages, the alt rhythms of A Perfect Circle and the mass appeal of 30 Seconds To Mars. With an influx of excellent progressive rock coming from these shores Temples On Mars will be another name to look out for on the basis of this strong debut. 8/10
Sixcircles: New Belief (Phonosphera Records)
From Palermo Sixcircles play dark, sexy psychedelic rock, they are a two piece with both members sharing vocals but only one handling the instrumentation. Making up the band are Sara B and Giorgio T and their voices sync throughout with a hypnotic underbelly swirling underneath, it's got desert rock moroseness of Mark Lanegan with the sauntering surf rock of Time Of Erosion, the jangly acerbic venom of Velvet Underground (Come, Reap), heavy disorientating fuzz with The Prison and a psychedelic soul of the Brian Jonestown Massacre (albeit without the fractious working relationship hopefully). At nine songs it's an ideal album for anyone with a sinful psyche and a passion for the more disturbing side of music, hold onto your belief as this new one seems a bit immoral. 7/10