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There'll Be No Sleep Tonite - 82%

CHAIRTHROWER, March 4th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, 12" vinyl, Independent (Limited edition)

It's always a boon to glean auspicious side projects of musicians whose prime foray grandly hit the spot, especially when they involve UFOs as well as alien encounter and abduction themes. Such is the case with Newfoundland/Labrador's Allagash, named after the purported incident which took place in 1976 at Big Eagle Lake in Maine (but divulged as a hoax by one of its participants in 2016) and featuring Emblem's front man/bassist Harry Clark a.k.a Hawk Emblem and guitarist John Cooper a.k.a. Sol alongside further proponents of the astral moniker, namely fellow ax man The Sumerian and drummer Entity, with Mooncrawler at the helm as vocalist. Following a titular eight track full-length debut in 2016 (coincidence?...), the Maritimers have re-donned aluminium hats and served up a sprite and expedient, albeit short, four track EP ironically titled Canadian Encounters, independently released at the turn of the New Year and limited to 200 12" vinyls, so...beam me up Scottie!

Starting with the thrusting "They Follow You" and concluding with the spectrally tripped out, keyboard and bass dominated title track, the sharply rendered and epically tremelo'd melodies as well as hard-driving musicianship parallel Emblem to a certain extent, yet Mooncrawler's hastily pitched and downright liberating mid-range serves to ratchet the overall accessibility factor while the pronounced sci-fi element is a far cry from the latter's battle-some, if not slightly arcane, Norse mythology overtones.

That said, Sol and The Sumerian's crisply shuffling guitar riffs and brilliantly wound-up lead pyrotechnics effortlessly blaze through the void like Deep Purple's Fireball as the desired impression of soaring across galaxies while held captive by most questionable hosts is effortlessly rendered by means of astrally wistful acoustic guitar on "Almond Eyes" and novel referential dialogue sound-bites, from an exhausted burn-out's confused account of said aliens' genetic agenda as well as his "on board" experience to a young female's distinctly Canadian sounding (who says we don't have accents?!) weirded-out soliloquy regarding her dubious origins. This last precedes the EP's second guitar driven highlight, the super duper, jack-hammering fist-pumper, "Hybrid Child", so be to sure to keep your clothes on for that one (I'm not to blame if you wake up naked in the middle of a cornfield somewhere).

In short, Allagash's Canadian Encounters constitutes a veritable "total package" when it comes to Grey Alien conspiracy theorized traditional heavy metal and all-around extra-terrestrial shenanigans. Although I've yet to hear the actual full-length, I can only imagine it offers more of the same; that is, non-committal and brash, at times, universally transcendental vibes sure to instigate its fair share of rampantly cosmic returns.