Radio Static High


Initially lurching from the UK noise underground in 2003 like a bedraggled audial creature rendered from toxic waste in a VHS horror movie, Hey Colossus has since grown at a rate spectacular to observe. Yet from the nightmarish murk of early driller-killer works such as 2004's debut Hey Colossus Hates You and 2008's Happy Birthday (REPOSE 018CD) to later nuggets of perversity like 2013's Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo (MIE 018LP), this beast has mutated and evolved into something uncommonly alluring. The six-piece London-via-Somerset troupe began 2015 with the release of In Black and Gold (LAUNCH 077CD/LP), on which the brawny repetition-driven raunch upon which they built their sound was furnished and burnished by dub-derived spatial awareness and cinematic drama, making it both a bold reinvention and an uncommonly compulsive avant-rock document. Still not content, the band immediately set about following it up with their second album of the year, and one that further ups the ante on their savagely graceful assault. Radio Static High is the sound of a confident outfit honing their attack to become a veritable force of nature. With the band citing -- tongue presumably in cheek -- inspirations as diverse as Jane's Addiction, Fleetwood Mac (Tango in the Night-era), and Cypress Hill, they constructed songs a fierce rate, yet with a focus and intensity partly instilled by band members living hundreds of miles apart, and partly by the relentless passage of time. Songs took shape from demos, exchanged riffs, and drunken text messages alike -- one such of the latter from guitarist Bob Davis to guitarist Jonathan Richards demanding an homage to Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer" resulted in a demo to that effect a mere 20 minutes later, which eventually became album centerpiece "Memories of Wonder." Elsewhere, "Hop the Railings" takes the powerfully propulsive groove of Can and cross-pollinates it with Beefheartian interweaving triple-guitar skronk to make a heat-haze-dwelling juggernaut of intimidating proportions. With all the bulldozing primal drive of heavy AmRep-style rock and none of the clichés, and a sound infused with leftfield sleight-of-hand yet hitting home like hammer to anvil, Hey Colossus prove themselves as potent as they are prolific. What's more, Radio Static High, in all its sun-kissed widescreen glory, is set to leave most all their contemporaries eating their dust.