Some albums create such a palpable atmosphere of pure rebellious force they create a burning sensation in your chest; Hey Colossus’ RRR is rock and roll firewater.
From a buyer’s perspective there are currently so long many drone and stoner rock bands plodding across the landscape that even good releases get sucked into a quagmire of familiarity. Just how many times can the same Sabbath riffs be recycled? Is the world really waiting for another record of bludgeoning odes to mountain lords releasing loose dirges on their dark thrones? Wake up and get relevant people.
incrementally caving in the safety glass of your Ladbrokes consciousness
HEY COLOSSUS ‘RRR’ (FROM THE ALBUM ‘RRR’)by Riot Season Records
Hey Colossus are an anomaly of sound. It would be possible to describe them as part power electronics, part psyche-beat, part doom, part art-noise, but by creating music with such a dedicated sense of focus and freedom their soaring epics are unified rather than piecemeal. They don’t have influences, they have antecedents.
The power of Hey Colossus is in their focussed simplicity, each ringing chord conjures mountains of discontent. Their samples are poignant, funny and also disquieting; Australians discuss the social mores of getting drunk, and there are pieces of noise that starkly never develop into full fledged themes. The album contains enough variation that each song has its own tonal invective, it’s hard to discern the aim of the pain, but there is something not right with Hey Colossus’ world view. Less accomplished bands would argue for a maggot in the dead flesh of capitalism, not Hey Colossus.
“Make it fight, make it feel.”
Joe Thompson (from The Quietus interview)
Here is a band that has searched for the deeper malaise, sawed through layers of ego with eviscerating treble frequencies and discovered a maelstrom of angst and redemption. The shrieking vocals and guttural shouts, so far back in the mix they sound like they’re recorded through a fire door, work to keep the grinding guitars firmly banging against your cortex. Right where the parent issues are, right where you want to smash something iconic and unattainable, perhaps even something branded. The song structures, simple and repetitive, surge forward again and again, incrementally caving in the safety glass of your Ladbrokes consciousness. Song to song all bets are off.
I said grind, but not all tracks are that generic, there is a sports store worth of Kraut beat here to keep you moving. The album shifts with speed and like a truck passing fast by a thin teenage runaway you’re pulled down the road. Bracing yourself for the oncoming traffic it’s the emptiness that bowls the listener. The use of power electronics, whatever their instrumental genesis, creates an insurmountable feeling of drive, letting you flinch, desperate for punch impact you are instead pushed over with the pressure of a feather multiplied by a lifetime.
In technical terms, Hey Colossus sound as casual as those 90s titans Red Red Meat and there is a purpose here that does their godfathers proud. In places the band come close to Bunny Gets Paid, which itself broke the heart of noise and barfed sand into the cake of alt-rock, and RRR does as much for whatever passes for the hard-indie music that people listen to these days. Hey Colossus blatantly hate those bands and with good reason. Here are a bunch of guys that truly do not give a fuck for anything but musical Valhalla. It’s hard to recommend this band enough. See them at a Dalston shit-hole now before the world’s indifference passes them by for the latest ironic shirt that references looting.
Hey Colossus – RRR is out now on the aptly named Riot Season.
Editor, founder, fan.