Purple Pyramid 2017
San Fran space rockers set their course out the heart of the sun to find exciting stability.
This band, a cosmic project of former UK SUBS’ axeman Nicky Garratt, are reaching velocity speed on their fourth album. Following "The Fall Of Chronopolis" that rested on a literary foundation, “Orbit” envelopes the band’s sci-fi ideas into a new concept which is vague and engaging at the same time, with Alicia Previn’s vocals set to trace such a trek among the celestial bodies.
Theatrical yet tasty, “Judas Star” has what it takes to become one of the greatest hard rock tracks this side of the event horizon, its sparse throb getting fleshed out in a blood-pumping organ rush and a riff that’s caught in the unison crossfire between guitar and violin before distorted voices are beamed through a toxic fog. The haze may dissipate in “Walk Above The Clouds” – if only to carry the piece’s bleak folk vibe on punchy twang – but “History Of Light” will bring this psychedelic hysteria back for a new bout of bluesy ebb and flow, while wah-wah’s circle around in quite a predatory way
In different skies, the delicate “Hedersleben” – another chapter in the ensemble’s “Dreamstate” series – sees an acid-smelling innocence sculpted by a knot of male and female singing and washed in sensual synthesizer’s water, whereas the initially wordless “Rarefied Air” comes redolent of the ’70s European middle-of-the-road. But there’s a sparsely heavy, in its spaced-out baroque, instrumental “Apogee” and naturally textured, exquisitely acoustic “Perigee” to unwind the experience… although breaking an orbit can be quite dangerous. Calamity isn’t something this group are afraid of; that’s why reaching velocity speed feels so exciting here.