Sighs of relief all round: Wild Rocket have delivered.
Relief, because truth be told I was a bit worried they’d be a flash in the pan.
In a way, ‘Geomagnetic Hallucinations’ almost seemed too good. With its ravishing art and tracks like ‘Blowholes’, you really did wonder if they could sustain such quality.
So reassurance and no small amount of satisfaction then in ‘Disociation Mechanics’, and the way in which it proves less of a ‘difficult second album’ and more of a ‘where do we want to go now?’
For it is very, very different to the debut.
It is far less immediate, for a start. And it gets even less immediate the longer it goes on, increasing in sonic depth.
The way ‘Caught In A Triangle’ establishes not just a sonic footprint but almost an aesthetic one as well, with its liberal use of vintage sci-fi effects and modulations (sounding at times like an old cassette warbling in and out of speed), is like a bit fat welcome into this record’s world.
It’s a clear brief: a tasting menu for the rest.
‘Infinite Reconnaisance Imager’ recalls Hawkwind right from the first note, with a really up-tempo beat and fun pulse that’s just a blast in a silver machine.
Then the change starts. In a way, the fun has been had now; the album gets a lot more introspective and musically nuanced from ‘Into The Black Hole’, which even tonally is completely different from what went before. It’s softer, less gained, and a lot moodier.
Again that pulp fiction ‘Lost In Space’ aesthetic makes itself heard through the tone and the notes.
Perhaps my favourite track, ‘The Future Echoes’ is the one that comes closest to a doom rock standard, with a shade of Pentagram or Place Of Skulls here and there. The variation in the slow, lugubrious, fizzy (almost Type O Fizzy) slams as they land inevitably on the snare, beside the same riff at a more jaunty pace is really cool.
The Edges Of Reality returns to that Hawkwind feeling pump that I think draws so much from the Simon King school of drumming – nice fills, a real breathy flow in the snare, tickling rolls, you know the drill – to see us off into the outer reaches of this probe’s journey. There are shades of Can’s Jaki Liebezeit here too.
It’s a well chosen coda after the two preceding heavier numbers.
I mean what else is there to say – this is just a beautifully conceived set of songs that take time to like, and that marry concept to sound in a way that just shows how lovingly crafted they’ve all been.
Much will be made of Moose-as-a-tone-savant, and for good reason. His skills for pedal making and sonic tinkering have clearly enabled Wild Rocket to say what they want to say with their music.
But that’s hardly the only reason they sound like this, and it would do well to bear that in mind. Behind all that guitar, bass and keyboard diode-hum is a drum performance that sets the album apart by bringing us back to an early 70’s vintage experience that’s damn hard to nail.
It is attention to this kind of detail that’s the real hallmark of the band.
That, and that it’s just completely enjoyable.
4.3/5 – Earl Grey ::: 12/07/17