[sic] Magazine

Kandodo/McBain – Lost Chants/Last Chance

The mere mention of those involved in the Kandodo/McBain project is enough to get a few grown men to wet themselves in excitement, for – secret no longer – Kandodo is Simon Price, singer/guitarist of cult psych-rock band The Heads, as well as former partners-in-noise Wayne Maskell on drums and Hugo Morgan on bass, while McBain is, of course, John McBain of Evil Acidhead, Devilhead, Wellwater Conspiracy, Hater and, most conspicuously of all, Monster Magnet. The latter of the quartet has been keeping himself busy mastering the cosmic Carlton Melton catalogue of late and that includes their 2015 star-crossed split with Kandodo (then the Kandodo 3). On that release, Price and co. dedicated their side to 20 continuous minutes of deep zoning that largely steered clear of their parent band’s trademark shred in favour of psychedelically ominous drone-loops. It was only a matter of time, then, until Kandodo and McBain shared a formal spine together and, as a united force, they naturally make heavy, druggy space-rock. No surpises there, but McBain does have one up his baggy wizard sleeve, having made the decision to master the album at both 33 and 45 rpm. While the CD release comes with both, the vinyl may be played at either and it allows for some great compare and contrast. At either speed, though, these are tracks that often start in one place before transporting the listener though kaleidoscopic dream/nightmare worlds and then on into infinity. Despite the temptation to expand on various powerful passages, Lost Chants/Last Chance – kick-ass artwork and all – is quite sparing with its solos all the same, dwelling more often in the territory of micro-detail kraut repeats and fuzzy drones.

Album opener, “Blowed Out”, is 15 minutes of meditative riffing, gnarly mid-distance soloing giving way to a stoned head-pop. Seguing in and out of claustrophobia and ambience, it alternates between turning the screw and releasing the pressure, pretty guitar work opening the finale up like early morning fog clearing to a beautiful day. Its comparative counterpart, “Really Blown Out”, which wades through tremulous molasses and breathtaking open-vista drones, is even more hypnotic. The relatively bite-size “Holy Syke” then throws up an almost shoegazy wall of obliteration, melodic in a pedal-abuse kinda way – its sludgy sister, “Holiest Syke”, slowed down into a dirgey, acid-fried stretch. In the same way Scouse is just Brummie at a higher speed, so too does it turn out here that psych-rock is just post-rock with amphetamines in its veins and this glorious 33 rpm cut just has to be heard to be believed. At the other end of the scale, the impeccably named “Megladon’t” scours the ground like a cyclone, dangerous barbs flying out of its every spin. The track latterly pivots into full-on stoner-rock that, from syrupy dub beginnings, is given incredible strut on which to fade out on the parallel platter. No matter the speed, the two closing epics threaten more than they punish, ever-blackening kraut clouds choosing not to break like a storm on “Chant Of The Ever Circling (Last Vulture)” and suitably ethereal simmer only hinting at what lurks in the dark depths of “Pelagic Blue Haze”. It’s all rather a cleansing experience – just as well for those that’ll soil themselves whilst listening to it.

Best track: “Holiest Syke”

~Lost Chants/Last Chance will be released September 23rd via Rooster Records.~