= October 2021 =  
 Green Pajamas
 The Secret Life of Love Songs
 Jerry David DeCicca
 Color Me Psycho
 Nova Express
 Shannon Lay


(CD from Green Monkey Records)

A new album from the Green Pajamas is always something to be celebrated, and this 16 song collection is especially welcome given that it’s all brand new material, the majority of which was written and recorded by Jeff Kelly. Not that there’s anything the matter with Joe Ross’s first written contribution since 2011, the gloriously singalong ‘Down to the Ocean’, or Eric Lichter’s excellent contributions ‘Sunlight’ and ‘Lover’s Lease’; but, well, even George Harrison only wrote one song per side for the White Album, and when there’s a songwriter of the calibre of Jeff Kelly in the band and he’s obviously hit on a rich seam, it makes sense to give him his head.

And head music is definitely what this record is all about. Readers will no doubt fondly remember the string of outrageously psychedelic albums the Pajamas recorded in the late ‘90s for what was at the time the next best thing to an in-house Ptolemaic Terrascope record label, Tony Dale’s Camera Obscura. ‘Strung Behind the Sun’ was a personal favourite, and it’s no coincidence that most of that was written by Jeff too. The new album is intentionally intended to recapture the whimsical experimental psychedelia that pervaded the band’s records of that era, and is sprinkled with appropriately exotic instrumentation, strong vocal harmonies and occasional birdsong, rainstorms and sound effects thrown in for good measure. It’s never less than glorious, and when Jeff kicks in with some of his trademark electric guitar licks it becomes absolutely outstanding: ‘Art School Blues 1979’, ‘High Tea With Miss Ava G’ and the album’s finest moment amongst a slew of fine moments, ‘Just To This’ with its middle-eastern backing, fine drumming and killer guitar break are all songs to treasure amongst a veritable treasury of songs.

Elsewhere ‘That’s Why Celia Can’t Fly’ has a Byrdsian jangle; ‘I’d Rather Be In The Sun’ is piano-led with hauntingly echoed vocals which adds a dash of melancholy – and fittingly bleeds into the next song ‘High Tea With Miss Ava G’ courtesy of the sound of a Portuguese rainstorm, which is a particularly Jeff thing to do. ‘Why Did You Do It’ has a heavier vibe and ‘I Don’t Believe You’ chills with a backwards girls school choir, and it’s left to ‘Hello, Hello’ and ‘Falling In And Out of Love’, both supremely Beatles-esque, simply great pop songs, to lift the spirits before the closing ‘Holly’  (although keep the CD player running and you should hear an uncredited alternate, upbeat version of Jeff’s ‘I’d Rather Be In The Sun’ as well)

Released at a time when the world is debating the merits of vaccinations, this is exactly the shot in the arm we all need, guaranteed to put a smile on your face, make you long throw your arms around your loved ones and get us all up and dancing. Or at least nodding along, given that we’re all getting older.



(book and CD from PS Publishing)

This is an interesting one to immerse ones’ self in after a session with the Green Pajamas, as there are distinct similarities in the subject matter and occasionally with the music, which, particularly like some of Jeff Kelly’s solo outings, has a Gothic, occasionally mediaeval, vibe, carried primarily on the back of synths and keyboards.

The hardback book was originally written by author Tim Lucas for a planned (but unpublished) anthology of fictional prose inspired by the work of Nick Cave. It’s presented in the form of a lecturer taking the stage to discuss the history of the Love Song, with the soul, the inner workings, of each song considered and evoked in some detail. I think it was Martin Mull who once observed that writing about music is akin to dancing about architecture; it’s an ultimate pointlessness which has haunted my own career as a music journalist for forty years, and although Tim Lucas’ insightful portrait of an obsessive gets us no closer to an answer, his prose is quite masterful in places, and he comes as close to defining the mystery of love and the poetry of music as anyone else has ever done.

The first 300 copies come with a CD of accompanying music, and if you’ve been wondering what McMullen’s up to filling the Terrascope’s reviews columns with poetic meditations on the mystery, the humility and the majesty of love, here’s why. Five of the songs which originally started out as poems, ‘Desert Mariner’, ‘Under the Nine’, ‘Ambidextrous Heart’, ‘The Smell of Cedar’ and ‘Trust in Love,’ were set to music by Dorothy Moskowitz (and the author) between 2017 and 2020, and a sixth, an adaption of Thomas Hardy’s ‘A Broken Appointment’, was also co-written by Tim Lucas and Dorothy Moskowitz.

It was Dorothy in fact who alerted me to the release of the book. We’ve stayed in touch sporadically ever since the Ptolemaic Terrascope published a major interview feature on her band The United States of America (fondly remembered, as I pointed out at the time, principally for their remarkable contribution to the ‘Rock Machine Turns You On’ compilation on CBS that was the backbone of many a 1970s record collection, ’I Won’t Leave My Wooden Wife For You, Sugar’); she later toured with Country Joe McDonald (providing backing vocals on the 1973 LP ‘Paris Sessions’)  so as you can well imagine, I was intrigued to hear what she’d been up to of late.

Lyrically, the material is just as strong as you’d imagine given the context. Musically, as I alluded to above, there’s a shapeshifting, ghostly gothic feel; melodic rather than percussive throughout, with a deftness of touch which, much as you’d expect, comes courtesy of Dorothy’s skilled multi-instrumentation. She also sings and plays piano on ‘Under the Nine’ and ‘The Smell of Cedar’. The songs which really jumped out at me immediately were ‘Desert Mariner’, ‘Ambidextrous Heart’ and the alternate version of ‘Under the Nine’ which is included as a bonus, all of which feature guitar work courtesy of none other than Gary Lucas, who has been a member of the Magic Band on and off since the 80s (including the ‘Ice Cream for Crow’ album, a favourite hereabouts).

I’m not too sure how fast this one will sell, but 300 CDs seems a good number to me so hopefully if you move quickly enough you’ll be able to grab a copy. Definitely recommended!



(LP from Worried Songs)

Easily my favourite record label anywhere right now, not least for the pure analogue and DIY aesthetic that pervades everything they do, Jerry David DeCicca’s solo album ‘The Unlikely Optimist’ is almost certainly the release that’ll see Worried Songs and their affable manager Chaz Hewitt promoted at the end of this season to the First Division.

It’s the third (I think) album released by former Black Swans leader Jerry David DeCicca since he applied his unique perspective on songwriting and his unmistakably gravelly voice to refashioning himself as an outsider singer-songwriter in the cosmic Americana field, and he’s assembled quite a cast of Texas compadres to accompany him including Augie Meyers of the Sir Douglas Quintet, Ralph White of Bad Livers, Scrawl’s Jovan Karcic, DeCicca’s partner Eve Searls and his former Black Swans bandmate Canaan Faulkner. Together they’ve somehow fashioned a fabulous mix of country, folk and hard rock plus the occasional hint of psychedelia.

There’s a clue to the album’s title in a statement issued with the record. “My whole life, I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression,” DeCicca is quoted as saying, “But through music, people who love me, and meaningful work, I’ve gathered enough light to keep getting out of bed. And, in my own way, I’ve become a more positive person and I feel very lucky for that.”

The “domestic adventures” referenced in the title include such gems as ‘Country Cookie,’ ‘Grape Jelly’ and ‘Coffee Black’. The excitement really builds though when DeCicca leads his band of minstrels out into the great outdoors. The nearly 11 minute long cosmic-country road epic ‘West Texas Trilogy’ features the outstanding opening line “I can smell gasoline and tacos,” and “I See Horizons” (for me the strongest track on the album) features DeCicca’s grizzled and stubbly narration backed by some lively saxophone and incisive electric guitar.

Although recorded pre-pandemic, this paean to the simple pleasures of food, home, holding on tight to the ones you love and reflecting on the great outdoors makes it very much a record of our times. Love it.


(LP on Lance Rock Records )

Originally released on low-budget cassette in 1986, this short sharp collection of cheap and cheerful thrills by this Calgary outfit has been dredged up from the primordial ooze and given the limited edition vinyl treatment by Canada’s Lance Rock Records - previously shelter for the likes of Neko Case and Man or Astroman? Featuring 10 tracks crammed into 27 minutes, it sounds like the frenetic outcome of ingesting Chernobyl-grade food additives and too much cheap pop (soda if you prefer). Channelling the fertile retro-garage sound beloved of Lipstick Killers, The Fuzztones, early Cramps and all manner of swamp things, it also packs a raft of song titles that has me scrambling for a safe word.

‘Mr Invisible’ invokes master of schlock horror Roky Erickson loaded up on steroids and shoved through the mincer of 70s Punk Rock. You’ll swear you’d first heard ‘Shove Your Love’ on some Nuggets/Pebbles collection, such is its 60s playbook authenticity and has me groping around for the striped t-shirt and cheesiest of indoor shades. The organ-driven ‘Transylvanian Erotica’ is undoubtedly the classiest thing here. At over three and a half minutes long, it’s also practically Wagnerian in scope, and if Shadows-style guitar is what you’re Hankering for, well it packs that, too. Driven by a riff owing to ‘Communication Breakdown’, ‘Lovers Leap’ has its rough edges rounded by organ and a smattering of lead guitar, but still delivers a chorus worthy of a minor punk rock classic. Add the perhaps unconscious nod to energised, Dr Feelgood type R ’n B that is ‘Suffocation Girl’ and you come up for a welcome lungful of air after a little shy of 14 full-on minutes. That’s pretty impressive 5k pace.

Flip the download and there are five more smackers in similar vein over on Side B. Whereas ‘Genius At Work’ features some surprisingly deft and melodic keys in the mid section. ‘Shatter City’ sounds incongruously like The Damned covering Bob Seger - file that one under “strange but true”. Referencing 1966 (not unreasonably) ‘Black Corvair’ hews out a catchy, economical sound that The Hives would later work to good effect, but for your 60s exploitation film score (and retro theme party) then look no further than ‘Grand Guignol’, which packs every facet of the band’s sound into three action-packed minutes, providing a most fitting finale.

Yes it’s corny (and, occasionally, creepy) but so what? It’s gleefully and, at times, artfully executed and, above all, fun, and we need a bit of fun right now, no matter how exhausting.  It’s time for my lie-down, now. Meanwhile, nobody drains that swamp, right?

(Ian Fraser)


(LP, Digital on Bingo Masters Records)


This debut album by Communicant is some of the best dreamy melodic psych to grace these ears in quite some time.  The LA-based band, led by talented songwriter Dylan Gardener, first started releasing some of these songs in 2020 and into this year.  This included lead single, the Revolveresque “She Moves the Sky,” b/w the garage fuzz of “Prisoner Cloud” on a Hypnotic Bridge ‘45 in November.


But the full-length is a fully realized whole that’s far better than a sum of the parts.  You could point to many practitioners of modern melodic psych with which to compare, but the closest one to me is the band Temples, with its ultra-catchy hooks, big choruses and occasional call-and-response (or just “call”) style.


Gardener’s vocals are almost always treated by some studio effect, whether it be heavy reverb, phasing, Leslie, or telephone voicing.  The songwriting is original, thoughtful and immediately enjoyable.  The band is tight, and the production first-rate, painting the tunefulness of the songs with a retro-cool lava lamp glow.  The songs contain loads of brief easter eggs (intentional or not), whether it be teasing ‘Tales of Brave Ulysses’ in the middle of “Sleepwalker,” the jangly ‘So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’-like intro of “Come Down,” or the hint of ‘It’s All Too Much’ in the intro of “She Moves the Sky” before it veers into ‘Tomorrow Never Knows/Rain’ territory.  But those are moments, while the span of work is all Communicant’s own.  The sequencing perfectly balances tracks between sunny psych pop rocks, woozy lysergia, and mysterious beckoning rabbit holes.


I must give particular credit to “The Wheel.”  The song’s album version is cast in creeping Merlin sorcery.  It’s an earworm, like everything on the album, sung by Gardener in his pleasing tenor.  However, in a separately released single well worth seeking out, Communicant reimagined and re-recorded the song as “La Roue,” a French language version sung by Natasha Recoder.  Newly appointed with sweeping strings and Recoder’s coquettish vocals, the song takes on an entirely different, slinky feline Gallic feel equal to or better than the original.  (Don’t you love it when an artist creates two equally fine versions of a song?)


“Housefly” is in some ways The Wheel’s distant cousin, starting deep in REM state before sprouting tiny wings (and rhythm section) and taking Kafkaesque flight.  The two songs back-to-back are an excellent one-two punch.  “Housefly” is the sort of song you realize after repeated album listenings, once you move past the easy pickings, “oh, this is the song.”


Sun Goes Out is strong from the opening gun to the finishing tape.  It takes, oh, about five seconds to settle in happily for the joy ride.  Dylan Gardener’s songwriting is fresh and instantly accessible, the arrangements and production exceptional.  It’ll be fun to see what surprises he and Communicant can conjure up for #2.


(Mark Feingold)

(LP/DL from Music | Rocket Recordings (bandcamp.com))

When Torbjörn Abelli of Sweden’s renowned Träd Gräs Och Stenar said of Nova Express’ One album on its release in 2001 that "This album will mature and be perfect 20 years from now" he was bang on the money. As long term forecasting goes this has to rank as the gold standard. A shame he never got to see it bear such fruit.  Forward twenty years later and the original double album has received a re-master, a re-sequence and has been trimmed down to a single disc. And it’s all thanks to Rocket Recordings and their frighteningly impressive and efficient Swedish underground network.

What is it with Rocket and Swedes? No, that’s not an on-trend recipe out of the Guardian Saturday food supplement, by the way.  I mean what is it that Chris Reeder and John O’Carroll have tapped into, a sort of sonic Scandi noir (except the vinyl is so rarely black these days) Twenty One continues a recent trend of breathing fresh life into what would otherwise have continued to be neglected gems - see Terrascope’s Urdog review from March 2021. If anything, this one is even more special. In fact it’s a truly remarkable reminder of the days when the ears were fresher and the mind still malleable and receptive. Verily, we have returned to the sunlit uplands of yesteryear.

If you can imagine organic, psychedelic riffing on a basic theme of Moondog’s ‘Bird’s Lament’ then you are already some way towards appreciating Twenty One. It seems a strange thing to admit, coming from a rudimentary guitarist very much attached to his strings, but there is a refreshing lack of reliance on guitars throughout. It serves to free the sound and allows for greater exploration on the part of the listener and, one might daresay, the musicians. Lars Ydgren’s clarinet may be an unlikely lead instrument in the rock canon but, together with his sax and flute and with, Henrik Khilberg’s keys, can lay claim to being the defining sound of Nova Express. Acker Bilk it ain’t. The clarinet provides a warmth and mellowness that lends the album this a laid back and almost pastoral feel.

Where there is repetition on Twenty One it doesn’t betray any shortage of ideas. This is the aural equivalent of a skilled artist who, building shade and texture, knows precisely when to put the brush down. Compare this with the original version on Spotify (or indeed if you are lucky enough to own an original) and the titivated mastering makes for cleaner, brighter sonic experience. Having made the difficult decision to jettison a couple of tracks in order to shrink to fit (including, sadly ‘Nova 7’) it’s also, arguably, more race fit. Similarly, by re-sequencing those tracks that made the cut it makes the journey enjoyably different. Not that there was anything amiss with One you understand. As the Swedish soothsayer said, by 2021 One would be perfect, and it pretty much is. It’s just that Twenty One might reasonably lay claim to being even more so.

A liturgical organ introduces us to ‘Freedhall’ before loping gradually into a ‘Maggot Brain’, but one where Eddie Hazel’s lead guitar is usurped by Ydgren’s plaintive reeds. ‘Wave To Each Other’ (the original album’s opener) has a bit of fun with Mr Theremin before skipping along at a fair old a canter and oodles of synth dabbling and jazzy woodwind that’ll delight those of us who cut our teeth on Flying Teapot. Meanwhile, ‘Trees Grass and Stonehenge’, which makes for a cheeky play on the name of That Band provides a wonderfully floating way of seeing us to mid-point. Out on Side 2 and ‘Nova Express’ finds Neu breaks bread with Vernon Elliott and Oliver Postgate, names that will probably mean diddly-squat  to our Swedish friends and colleagues and indeed precious little to anyone here under 45 years of age. No matter. Mesmerising and otherworldly it’s a tantalising glimpse of being back in The Garden, or at the very least one that backs onto Pogle’s Wood. ‘Bussen’ is indeed a magic bus, a more contemplative drone in which the guitar plays a repeated, beautifully unfussy melody, one that even my aforementioned rudimentary skills are able to mimic, proving that pyrotechnic dexterity isn’t necessarily synonymous with effectiveness.  As it builds, Ydgren’s sax weaves all about, linking with and soaring over some spectral synths. The result is that ‘Bussen’ ranks as possibly the most exquisitely diamond of all.. This just leaves ‘Spektra’. From squelchy beginnings it seems in danger of going all Chicory Tip on us (what, you don’t remember ‘Son Of My Father’) but soon returns reassuringly to Rother-hum.  Another sensory feast, you can practically see and feel the music by this point, and yet, in some respects it seems the least essential of this most compelling of collections. That isn’t even a quibble. How it must have been an unenviable task to decide what tracks to include and which to discard when you can hardly shove a Big Bambu between them quality-wise.

So, there we have it, Twenty One ... quite possibly the best Kosmische album never to have come out of Germany. Or for that matter Japan. Whether or not it’s the best thing I’ve heard in twenty one years, I can’t say, although right now it’s hard to think of too much that comes close, let alone surpasses what ranks as a near-pinnacle of listening experience. Now there’s a tendency for gushing reviews like this to sign off with some fulsome recommendation or other. On this occasion that would constitute something of a disservice. This is a must have, pure and simple. It’s what Compulsory Purchase Acts were intended for. Now what are you waiting for?

 (Ian Fraser)

In the process of waxing lyrical, Ian Fraser spoke with Rocket Recordings’ Chris Reeder about what prompted the label to re-issue of an obscure twenty year old album, and the issues it faced in doing so.

Mind duly blown, can I just ask how you hit upon this one and why release it now?

Not sure how we discovered it to be honest. I think someone we knew from one of our Swedish bands shared this track and then we did some research and found out that one of the collaborators in the band was in an incarnation of The Liberation (Josefin Öhrn's band). Then we found out Rickard from Flowers Must Die knew one of the main guys from the band so we got chatting.

When we saw the Torbjörn quote and realised it was 20 years since its original release, it was a no brainer. We had to do it. The stars had aligned!’

 How serendipitous is it that One was first released on a label called Rocket Number Nine Records?

Oh, we love happy little accidents like that. You just know then that it was meant to be.

  The original was a double album, this is a single disc. Why is that?

We did consider releasing the whole thing, but pressing a double LP by a band no one knows was just too much of a risk right now. Manufacturing prices have gone crazy out there, plus with the effects of Covid and Brexit adding to already desperate capacity issues it is a scary time. Stripping it down to a single disc made most sense, both from the standpoint of timing and our customers’ wallets. 

‘Nova 7’ and ‘Jens’ failed to make the cut. Was there any particular reason for choosing what made it in, or was it simply ‘best fit’

Johnny and I compiled what we thought were the best sounding tracks and what made the most interesting listening experience. When we sent the track choices to the band, they agreed that we had definitely picked the strongest tracks. So we knew we’d chosen wisely.

Likewise what prompted your decision to tamper with the running order?

It was re-sequenced for the greater listening experience. We chose which tracks and in which order we felt worked best to create a great and interesting journey. And obviously you have to take vinyl side lengths into consideration when sequencing as well.

Is there any chance we’ll get to hear the ‘lost tracks’?

Maybe at a later date we’ll think about a limited vinyl edition of the other tracks, when (or 'if') the crazy manufacturing situation we find ourselves in calms down a bit. Or the tracks may appear on a future comp or something. But whatever, we will re-master them like we did with the tracks on Twenty One, the originals needed a lift to make them sing better on vinyl. 

You’ve recently helped us rediscover Urdog and now this. What further lost treasure do you have in store for us?

Johnny and I do have lots of great, forgotten albums in the collections, and like Urdog we may one day feel they need to be reintroduced to today’s audiences, so watch this space!

Nova Express follows in the rich Rocket tradition of championing Swedish acts, the roll call of which seems to get bigger by the year. Isn’t it high time you and Johnny were rewarded for contributions to Swedish musical export?

Ha! Well if they ever want to make us honorary Swedes then I will always be happy to take them up on that offer...I do like the idea of moving to Gotland!


(LP, CD, Digital on Sub Pop Records)


This is a lovely folk album, with a perfectly autumnal feel for right about now.  Lay is an LA-based artist who’s done both rock (Ty Segall’s Freedom Band) and her own solo music on the folkie side.  On Geist, she combines delicate finger-picked acoustic guitar with her ethereal voice and tasteful accompaniment.  Geist is German for “spirit,” and the album has an abundance of it.  She sings about love, friendship, and most of all, a willingness to embrace change.


Opener and lead single “Rare to Wake” is probably the album’s finest track.  The recurring, descending guitar motif leads into a very David Crosby-meets-Linda Perhacs melody, full of mesmerizing repetition, dips, swoops and rabbit holes.  When Lay’s vocals make their entrance, the effect is stunning.  She intones the album’s mission statement, “Have you always been who you are?/Without change, something sleeps inside us, rare to wake.”  The soft, slightly jazzy electric piano by Ben Boyce adds a perfect enhancement, as if the song wasn’t already hypnotic enough.


Due to pandemic pressures, rather than play together live, Lay had to send out her basic tracks long distance to the above Ben Boyce (Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Ty Segall) and Devin Hoff (Sharon Van Etten) to color in the spaces, which they do in a masterfully understated way, with bass, cello and acoustic and electric pianos, and flute.


“Shores” is a beautiful, slow waltz of a tune.  Lay sings of the often times bittersweet effect on relationships when one person makes a sweeping change in their life.  Ty Segall adds a guitar solo, trying his best to tone down his hard rock style for this quiet track.  “Awaken and Allow” has a Celtic quality, with Lay singing a capella off the bat, followed by a rising drone of strings behind her.  The message is again about change, with a barb about the toll of frequent wildfires, “I have to get out of California/The days go by like smoke in the wind.”  It’s an interesting side note to the record’s frequent commentary on the necessity of enjoying and appreciating nature.


I really love the drifting-in-the-mist “Untitled,” which returns to the ethereal Crosby/Perhacs quality from “Rare to Wake.”  (I’ll also confess to a personal adoration of songs called “Untitled” – haven’t heard a bad one yet.)


Lay covers Syd Barrett’s “Late Night” and I almost wish she hadn’t, because you mention Syd Barrett and every one rushes to that track instead of the remarkable originals which make up the remainder.  Still, she manages to adapt it seamlessly to the style of the album, bringing her own personal touch to this sensitive, intimate song about love and longing.


The album closes with instrumental coda “July” (I love instrumental closers, too, almost as much as “Untitled” songs).  It’s just Lay’s guitar picking, with some cello and soft vibes in the background.  It conjures up a gorgeous twilight setting, not trying too hard, just that final sip of wine before going in.


Geist should rightfully propel Shannon Lay into the pantheon of contemporary folk troubadors.  The album is beautifully and lovingly crafted all-around.  Her songwriting, guitar work and plaintive voice may be crisp as apple cider, and perfect for that late afternoon stroll amid falling leaves, but this album will be evergreen.


(Mark Feingold)

(LP/CD/DL from Music | Rocket Recordings (bandcamp.com))

And so it comes to pass, a new Gnod album. In case it appear that they now come around seasonally rather than annually (a bit like Christmas seems to) it’s worth bearing in mind that our last encounter with them, just a few months hence, was the time-marking career retrospective Easy To Build, Hard To Destroy. In fact it’s hard to believe that it is more than three years since their last non-collaborative full-length release.

The leanness and ferocity here carries the blazing torch of 2018’s seismic Chapel Perilous and indeed the brace of offerings before that. Well if things looked pretty grim up North back then, they look a damn sight bleaker all over, now. Appositely, the title translates as ‘The Death Of Meaning’ which for the fatalists among us kind of resonates, n’est-ce pas? The fact that it’s French may be the contrarian Gnodders thumbing their noses at a certain tousle-mopped Ear Flicker in Chief who’s overly fond of his Gallic goading. Or perhaps not, either way, it works both as a brutalised statement of art and of intent.

‘Regimental’ sputters into life with scrambled radio broadcast samples before being borne aloft by riff, power chords and trademark shouty vocal. So far, so viscerally Gnod. On the aural screed of ‘Pink Champagne Blues’, the two-drummer propulsion resurrects Twink-era Pink Fairies (previously Jesse Webb had only sounded like two drummers. Glad to see he now has help), while ‘The Whip And The Tongue’, is a more angular math-rocker, a bit like Shellac with souk reeds. True to form it’s all calculatingly bleak and disturbing. Sobering, too, to think that we still need tracks called ‘Giro Day’ in this day and age. It’s enough to get your BACS up. ‘Migraine’ might also be something that springs to mind after 12 minutes of relentless pummelling. At once glorious and galling, it has this Gnod trick of being seemingly stuck in the same groove to the point that you want to give the needle a nudge (not easy with downloads, believe me) before freeing itself thereby launching into different dimensions, each parallel universe seemingly more attritional than the last. Still, it’s being so cheerful... 

As mentioned, Gnod have been ploughing (or should that be harrowing) this furrow for a while now. It’s a brave man who’d advocate a full-blooded return to 2015’s marmite splattered triple album Infinity Machines. However, there was a time when they’d delight in making people second guess them. Perhaps they are due a change of direction. Good luck getting the brakes to work on this particular bus, though. On this evidence they still have plenty of momentum. Turn it up, then.

(Ian Fraser)