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5ive, no cheapshots about the boyband with the same name, is one of the finest two piece acts out there. Their sludgy droney Karma to Burn influenced instrumentals make them very unique in this style of music. They haven't been too prolific since the self-titled debut in 2001, so Hesperus was a much looked forward to release.
Gone is a bit of the guitar sludge traded for a more dirty, heavy fuzz, and also gone are the long winded songs. Both good moves in my opinion and serve this album well. The seven songs included here are some of the finest these guys have done. Gulls sees them take up a seemingly simple stoner metal riff but with the dynamics these guys do it with, it's taken to another level. Big Sea displays some of their psych vibe with tons of amazing call and response between the two. Kettle Cove and Heel are the short and sweet ones on this album. Heel has the arpeggiated clean bits in contrast to the heavy doom riffs. In the studio, it's not all the simple for these guys. There's a lot of guitars going on here. I don't know how Ben Carr pulls it off live, but there are at least three audible layers of guitars at any given point in time. Some subtle and some not quite.
Polar 78 features a lot more of the doom vibe with the guitarist using spacey samples all over the song. At seven minutes something and completely meandering yet captivating throughout, this is my absolute favourite song of the album. It's amazing how the band makes these simple ideas work for full songs. News I begins with the drummer as usual holding his end down with a solid groove but the guitars are clean, going from arpeggiated verse and these quick strumming part in the most surreal fashion. This is some unconventional sound and songwriting on display here. It takes them past the five minute mark to hit the dirt channel in but when it happens, it's something else.
News II carries on the vibe the previous one left us off with, drums are more dramatic and has a lot of 70s style interplays with the guitars. And get a load of the fuzzy wah-laden guitars around the four minute mark! This is somewhere between the heavy psych of Hawkwind, fuzz rock like Acid King and even structurally, even some post-metal. A rather interesting early 2008 release and probably the best by the band till date. Recommended.
Originally written for http://www.kvltsite.com