Thursday 11 April 2013

Hey Colossus - Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 1/4/2013
Label : MIE
Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo, album tracklisting
1) Hot Grave
2) Oktave Dokkter
3) How To Tell Me With Jesus
4) Leather Lake
5) English Flesh
6) Pit and Hope
Now in their tenth year the band have been gathering plaudits and accumulating new fans with every release, and after playing to thousands at Supersonic Festival last year, things are accelerating at an even faster pace.
As with each album release, Hey Colossus continue to mutate and for their eighth album they have enlisted the support of a new drummer, Part Chimp guitar/vox man, Tim Cedar, who has undoubtedly brought a whole new kind of energy that has reinvigorated the band. When the rhythm section takes a shot to the bow it’s only natural for the game to change. But long term supporters need not worry, they’re still heavy, still got the same vibe, only now they are focused in a fresh way.
Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo was recorded live to tape throughout 2012 in Dropout Studios, South London, by Mr. Westminster Brown, mastered by James Plotkin. For this recording, Hey Colossus opt for a hefty hi-fi sound when previously they were drenched in Lo-fi fuzz. Now there is room to breathe when before they were utterly unrelenting. Tape loops and walls of noise created by bass and drum rhythmic klang, dual vocals, and three guitars are supplemented by a variety of instruments including the bağlama saz, turntables and synths – adding a whole new dynamic to their sound. These are signs of a band who are playing with their ears open and it’s all systems go.
Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo will be released on CD, digitally and in a run of 500 LPs with artwork by the band on 1 April via MIE.
Line up
Jt, Jr, Tc, Tf, Ps, Bd, CL.
Hey Colossus are one of the most reliable and underrated bands out there in the UK scene. They make riffs that are full of swagger and consistently heavy as hell. It's a crime that they never really get the attention that they so rightly deserve. Well the sincere hope is that their latest album 'Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo' (I hate acronyms, but WTF?!) will go some way toward rectifying this sorry state of affairs.
Right out of the box 'Hot Grave' is one of my favourite tracks of the year so far. It sounds like Melvins and Scissorfight decided to cover the Stones, and managed to secure Frank Black for the voice. And Frank has been smoking forty a day AFTER throat surgery. And has gone totally insane. It's brilliant, deranged and chock full of that unorthodox approach that the band has come to be known for. The riffs are giant, and the sticks sound like hammers. It plods along at a comfortable mid-pace but it never loses your attention, and you'll nod your head like there is a gun to it. Awesome stuff.
The bassline on 'Oktave Dokkter' is almost sexual in nature. It's a sultry beast, and it's giving the backbeat the eye. There's definitely something going on there, if you know what I mean. The two complement each other perfectly. You hope that they stay together forever. Good stock for children.
'Leather Lake' is spaced out and trippy, and full of lethargic rhythm. Like the best elements of psychedelic sounds that get married with a lot of sludge these days (ala Kylesa), the results are joyous. Further proof that 'Heavy' doesn't always have to be fast and loud, which is why I adore the genre so much, and why I write for this blog. Hell, it's why you may well be a visitor to this den of iniquity (fun place, no?). Colossus are one of the finest examples of that, and they lay it all out to bare here.
'English Flesh' ups the pace mildly, and the bass is really pushed to the forefront again. Often overlooked as a key ingredient by many acts, HC rightly bring it up in the mix for their efforts and it pays dividends. Twinned with delirious rantings and feedback it becomes a must-hear, which is the standard setting for this LP.
The album rounds out with 'Pit and Hope', and while that may sound like an ill-fated private eye duo, in reality it's a lush affair. Elegant guitar playing searches it's soul, like somebody at a crossroads in their life. It's deep stuff and sounds like it should have been born in the 70s, especially with the light percussion. It's a voyage, a lot like 'Planet Caravan' was when Sabbath decided to expand their horizons (and probably their minds, too).
Throughout, 'Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo' is consistently incredible. This may well be the album that elevates Colossus to that position that they should have probably been filling for years now. Another great homegrown talent has released another great album. The future is looking bright for Blighty's contribution to truly heavy and envelope-pushing music, and Hey Colossus should be rightly acknowledged as one of the leaders of the charge. Armed with this new material, they surely cannot fail.
Words by : Matt Fitton

As always show your support to the band. You can buy the record here. Thanks to Rarely Unable for the hook up.