Fire up the lava lamps!
Review by Gary Cordwell
Release date: 18 May 2015
Ok, let’s have a look at the checklist and see what we’re dealing with here. Drum kit, bass and guitar x1. Orange amps. Flares, floppy hats and sheepskin car coats. Tie dye – lots of. Old vinyl albums – Sabbath, Hendrix, Blue Cheer. And, most crucially, a wah wah pedal. Oh yes, it’s time to all hail at the slightly scuffed altar of the wah wah. Stoke on Trent stoner trio Red Spektor recorded this debut EP in just two days and it’s a veritable psychedelic masterclass.
Track one is only two and a half minutes long but it’s all there – the warm Hendrix intro (with that wah wah!) leading into a funky riff of a Deeply Purple hue. But it’s halfway through ‘Transcending’ (track two) when you realise that you should be slumped on a bean bag, listening to this with good headphones because from out of the fog of slow moving, doomy riffage and trippy, phased vocals comes some serious left to right speaker seperation! The (yes, you’ve guessed it) wah wah solo floats through your head from your left ear to your right in a way I haven’t heard since Dark Side Of The Moon… and it all ends in a nice squeal of feedback.
And happily it happens a lot more – guitars to the left of you, vocals to the right, and there you are, stuck in the middle, grooving to switchblade riffs, choogling jams, Sabbath dirges and a lovely, natural overall feel. It reminds me a little of Electric-era Cult… if the Cult were looser, sloppier, less stiff and mannered.
And that looseness here is good. It’s spontaneous, edge of your seat stuff – scruffy but cool. Solos spin in and out of sight, spindly Jimmy Page style solos, not huge sounding but fast and freewheeling – fitting the songs perfectly and all having that ‘this could all fall apart at any second’ elegantly wasted loucheness about them. And to cap it off it all finishes with a proper, live sounding, finishing powerchord clang! Perfect.
This is all great fun, so put on your cans, fire up the lava lamps and let it wash over you. Let’s hope the debut LP lives up to this auspicious start!
8 out of 10
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