[sic] Magazine

The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol – Droneverdose

That album title. Just look at it. And yet, like the LP as a whole, it’s pretty misleading. Even though distorted kosmiche specialists TBWNIAS are perfectly capable of an album full of smothering fuzz-tones (they usually manage a few anyway), Droneverdose isn’t the album to deliver them … at least not consistently. Instead the instrumental Ottawa band pull from their extensive back-catalogue of space-rock, hard psych and experimental thrash for an album just as varied. Consequently we begin in retro alt-rock spun out to proggy length by numerous breaks and twists, snaking wah turning the vibe decidedly psychedelic before several virtuosi suddenly combine for a surprisingly funky full-on finale. The aggressive “Snoreland” quickly follows, another bitesize morsel when TBWNIAS usually provide feasts. It feels like something is missing, but it’s difficult to pinpoint what.

The big guns duly arrive halfway through “Gaussian Blur & Beach Debris”, a muscular bout of organ grinding, and yet that nagging sense of what could have been remains. Not one to hang about, Droneverdose atones quickly however with a strong close. First “118” (not one of them fellas in dodgy ‘taches and short shorts, we must stress) simmers on ambient drones and Eastern-tinged shamanism until kick-ass bass riffing gets the show firmly back on track, hand-clapped rhythms bridging pillars of liquid guitar noise before fading back into meditation. A rumbling nearly-chug then idles in the throat of the 15-minute “Tsunami Of Bullshit” awaiting ignition. Naturally it soon revs into being, gloriously gloomy guitar riffs owing more to the likes of The Cure and Joy Division than Hawkwind on this occasion, skeletal drum rolls and feedback inevitably summoning all that’s left in the warp drive for a steel-jawed kosmarathon to finish. Droneverdose is undoubtedly a late bloomer, an album of two halves. Don’t go popping a second now just because the first is slow to kick in.

Best track: “Tsunami Of Bullshit”

~Droneverdose is out now on Cardinal Fuzz (EU) and Birdman Sound (North America).~