With pounding pondering of progressive ways, one personal project pitches stallion strength into a man’s mind.
If John Bassett was surprised with the success of his new endeavor’s 2014 debut, it didn’t alter his approach to sonic exploration. Quite the contrary: instead of descending into the abyss of simplicity, the Hastings polymath is elevating the listener to his own higher ground now. Basset’s one-man ensemble’s second release has a dangerously adventurous flow, full of unexpected turns – so exciting in the “Black Dice Maze” whose throb grows from a mirage-like vibrations to a chthonic quake – yet not relentless as the sharp blues blades under “Fourth Quarter” suggest.
Thus, thick organ layer softens the bass-poisoned fierceness of “Red Widow” until delicate dewdrops fall from the fret into silence – brief but blissful thanks to the underlying folk sensibility. That’s why steamroller riffs which flatten the dark serenity in “Moon Signal” are embroidered with a weave of harmonic strains to etch its beauty into posterity. Another reason for this may be a recurring theme which, slightly mangled every time, rears its head throughout the record, crystallizing the fullest in “Read The Sky” to stumble under the weight of aural assault. The heft is lifted when a few shorter tracks pour twangy melancholy into the emotional melange, although in “Start Missing Everybody” it’s only an old-timey calm before the storm, but such gloomy gallop feels delicious all the way.