Saw this band in 2004 supporting Numbers (whatever happened to them?) at the Croft, Bristol. They were a great cross genre concoction then, and appear to be carrying on the good work with this new release on Dreamboat.
You’d probably be thinking with its 'all black' cover and minimal type, that this would be an odyssey into doom-meister territory, maybe short of the usual satanic references. Even the first bars of track one with its old-style Earache guitar fuzz would have you thinking you’d have them nailed as fitting to formula, but then the soft vocals slip in over some easy instrumental pleasantries and it’s like ‘woo’ didn’t expect that...
... 'Coffin Years' seems riddled with this sort of fun, messing with yer head and expectation as easy listening ballads are grafted to shouty vocals then drowned in weighty guitar, hissy cymbals and precipitating drums. Ambient washes are slipped under King Crimson work outs, to be eaten up by electronic 'zzzzt'. Folkish meanderings are hijacked by classic 70’s rock guitar and post rock flutterings are thrust into distorted hedges.
For me it takes a bit of getting use to (not because of the above), as it's not as 'out there' as my usual fare, maybe its the slightly commercial tinge, but to tell you the truth this isn't a bad thing, just a perfect situ to exercise a bit of switcheroo subversion. After a few listens, such pre-conceived notions are easily shrugged off as you bask in that perfect execution and shiny production with a smile on your face at the fact this could never be easily pigeon holed.
My only gripe would be that they never really lose their heads and descend into the luscious bedlam of instrument abuse I was expecting although they do hint at such in places. The 10min 'Coconut Calypso' being a superb example with it’s excellent Congo style drumming and guitar amp sizzle upping the improv stakes, a track I’ll never get bored of re-listening to.