on the evidence of this new video clip it looks like the boys had quite a bank holiday. Nonetheless amidst all the woodland capering there’s a stern warning to us all, and that is – snorting unicorn glitter leads to morris dancing and death. Just Say No kids. New album ‘The Guillotine’ arrives next month when every Englishman will be looking around and wishing we had a strong and stable Guillotine. If you want you can preorder it by clicking on this cover image.
Even a mighty colossus needs to take a break for a cuppa and a fistful of biscuits every now and then. Having damn near herniated themselves delivering the two best records of their career in 2015 this year has been a pretty quiet one by comparison for our most beloved noise rock gentlemen. Not any longer, a heartening flurry of activity is picking up. By way of some kind of teaser/gift because they love us they put a couple of versions of tunes from ‘Eurogrumble’ on the bandcamps there. Recorded live in the studio during the making of the last album you can download them spiky little beasts on the pay what you will plan. Say ‘Thank You Hey Colossuses! It’s true you Are Nice Men’. Next month a retrospective ‘best of’ the first 10 years sees a vinyl release on MIE. ‘Dedicated to Uri Klangers’ first appeared as a joke/cassette for their 10th anniversary show and contains tracks from all the records up to ‘Cuckoo Live Like Cuckoo’ including the mammoth, mythic and amusingly entitled ‘Witchfinder General Hospital’.
Follow the band’s giddying journey all the way from its sludgy noise splatter infancy up to pristine pop smash ‘Hot Grave’ and the inevitable birth of boy band alter ego Henry Blacker. It’s a tale as thrilling as Jersey Boys and yet as old as time. Probably. A lot of this stuff is hard to find now, (and most of what’s left has been flying out of their webstore) so it looks like being a handy treat. Some of it I’ve never heard, some of it I can’t even track down and some I’m digging back out for a listen. Can’t find my copy of ‘RRR’ which is annoying me today. Seems the second edition of Cuckoo…’ with the groovy 3D sleeve is about sold out. In a weak moment I made my black and white one 3D with the highlighter pens off Miss Hoover’s desk. The results were disappointing I confess. In even more up to the minute news they’ve been off touring Europe while we’re still allowed over there and a new record is due in spring. rocking good news.
Still a whole hundred days until christmas but here’s a lovely little present and perhaps a little help with writing that all important letter to Santa in the shape of a free download comp from the wonderful Riot Season. Unless you’re some kind of desperate completist obsessive who already has all these records you’re going to want this. Filthy, rockin’ sludge in a variety of flavours from the last couple of years of their releases and a couple of old gems from Hey Colossus and Dethscalator. Shit $ Shine channel Big Stick on their latest effort, there’s raw noisy punk rock from Workin’ Man Noise Unit and Tropical Trash, huge psych slabs from Blown Out, Khunnt and Sloath, the ridiculously great Bad Guys, Henry Blacker, Menimals, Early Mammal, Dodge Meteor, Mainliner + the furious Art Of Burning Water. The whole thing stinks of diesel and coats your hands in something hard to wash off. Bargain.
we should thank Revolt Of The Apes for this great Hey Colossus tech schematic…
Right then pop pickers, just about our favourite band around here (not that we keep track) Hey Colossus have a new thing available! wooh, and indeed, hoo! Splendid new one ‘All The Humans’ could easily have come off either of the last two albums and is a hypnotic, psych/drone lurch that takes a few listens to really get its hooks in you. Now I can’t stop listening to it. No idea what Sykes is on about, keeping warm in hospital and so on, but then that’s about standard. I know controlled brevity is their current thing but they could definitely stretch this out to twice the length live and it’d be great. There’s the nice video for it above, looks like sparklers at the start. Anyone remember MBV having that film of sparklers behind them onstage? That was damn cool. There’s a couple of alternate versions of tunes from ‘In Black & Gold’ on the B side in the traditional fashion. Released in honour of another live campaign out on the european mainland. Sending all our best bands to the EU and what do we get in return eh? Someone should alert the Brexit loons. It’s available as one of those frustratingly handsome but impractical lumps of dead media, the cassingle. Or for a reasonable pound a track download, out friday, preorder on their bandcamp
Well, we didn’t really muster any kind of best of 2015 listicle type thing but had we done so topping it would, unanimously, be Hey Colossus. Both records. They bestrode 2015 like a… well, like a Colossus I suppose, each new record better than the last and increasingly even more fierce and focussed live. Readers of this blog will probably be unsurprised by the news but frankly they rocked our socks off last year and will no doubt continue to do so in 2016. Expecting another two albums of such high quality out of them might be pushing it but they’re kicking off this year with another visit to europe in support of the still quite recently released ‘Radio Static High’. Unbelievers can check out both albums here, the curious ‘Snapping Undone’ video at the top, and a version of ‘Black and Gold’ from a previous jaunt to the low countries below. As the noise/psych/kraut/doom/whatever scene they’ve long been part of continues to bloat with lesser bands they’ve decisively stepped out ahead with a sharper, smarter, more original sound than any of them. We can’t applaud them loudly enough.
You may be aware already of how much we love Hey Colossus around here, I’m sure I remarked earlier in the year that they were ‘on a roll’. This now seems like an embarrassingly casual understatement. Not content with making one of our favourite albums of the first half of the year, keeping up an impressively steady touring schedule and putting out a second album by Joe and Tim’s other band Henry Blacker, they’ve already recorded a follow up for release in the autumn AND found time to squeeze in a couple of split singles too. I’m worn out just typing it. Worn out and excited. Maybe hungry. Anyways here’s all three new tunes to hit the interwebs lately for your mouse clickin’ convenience. Next album ‘Radio Static High’ comes out on Rocket in what seems to be ages (October). ‘Hop The Rails’ is the first track up for consideration and continues where ‘Black & Gold’ left off having the sort of relentless, tight wound groove that seemed to fade away too soon at the end of the title track.
Next on the album ‘Numbered Out’ is the tune they were opening sets with earlier in the year, it’s short, sharp and brilliant and a different version of it shares a 7″ with White Manna who are in similar if slightly more familiar psych rock vein on ‘Sandozn’, good tune. Lastly there’s also a 12″ split with Hotel Wrecking City Traders on which they stretch out over a full 10 mins in what could become increasingly rare style, guitarist Jonathan Richards commenting about the new album “After 12 years functioning in a Noiserock/Doom/Kraut/whatever scene of sorts and being aware of unwanted repetition, we feel it is more subversive for us to compose songs with rigid song structures than it is to absentmindedly clang off another riff-athon.” On the other hand ‘Cortez the Killer’ is also invoked as an influence so who knows. ‘Heaven Blows’ hardly counts as a riff-athon in any case, it’s a beatless, shifting, noise drone thing that does indeed seem to be blowing around, charged with odd radio signals, spirit birds and freak weather. The Hotel Wrecking City Traders side is twice as long and may be twice as good. Don’t quote me on that though, 20+ minutes is a long time to hold my concentration and it may not withstand further scrutiny but it starts strong, kicks back in like crazy about 2/3 in and is called, magnificently, ‘Droned and Disowned’. Sometimes a title is almost all you need. The record comes in a spectacular selection of stupidly coloured vinyl, there’s only 216 being pressed and they come all the way from Australia so you’d need to be proper keen like if you need to hold the precious object rather than a download.