13 for ’13: Hey Colossus – Hot Grave

Part 6 of a 13 song recap of my 2013 in no particular order

Hey Colossus are a band not adverse to getting low down and dirty. They’ve been shaking up a bizarre cocktail of noise, psych, krautrock and whatever other nefarious aural stimulants can get their filthy mitts on for around a decade now. But for my money they’ve never quite gotten as low down neanderthal as this before. Hot Grave is an exercise in repetition, a single grinding riff topped with wild eyed growls and short synth waves. For nearly seven minutes. It should get dull, but it’s a hypnotic kind barbarism, like finding zen from being repeatedly punched in the face. It sounds a bit like Scissorfight might have if they’d found some room to fit some kosmische into their Southern caveman rock. Knuckles on the ground, eyes to the heavens.

The lyrics fit that vibe perfectly: a gleefully unhinged celebration of impending damnation. Whilst the guitars keeping on crashing that same riff like an ocean of piss and vinegar against a baffled shore the howls and snarls come from an audible cracked smile. Proof if ever it was needed that you don’t need to be angry to scream your lungs out. You can’t tell me the man yelling, “I’M FUCKING STEAMING!” isn’t having a damn ball. And all the while those slightly incongruous synths add an odd haze to the proceedings. They aren’t a major presence on Hot Grave but they do create a vague aura of psychedelia that the band pick up and run with throughout the rest of Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo. Which is what has made Hey Colossus such a continuously intriguing prospect for the past ten years: even whilst they’re relishing rolling in the gutter they’ve got one eye on the stars.

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