[sic] Magazine

You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons – Contact High

We’ve all got a few records we know should have been bigger but for whatever reason weren’t. Well, plucky Leeds label Cardinal Fuzz are putting their money where their mouth is with Contact High, re-releasing the 2009 biker-psyche rocker in full on double vinyl. It’s easy to hear why they’re so enamoured too for Portsmouth groove titans You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons’ (named after some Japanese craziness involving lady wrestlers) third LP is a bit of a doozy.

It’s a pity all the same that something has to be in vogue in order to get the attention it deserves. Maybe ahead of their time, cool cuts like the sludgy “Alpha And Omega” and the hard-rocking “Great Shakes Baby” would be shifting serious units if they listed Ty Segall as guitarist but the fact is they don’t because he isn’t. In any case, and be them retro stoner-rock or Fuzz-style heavy-psyche, the slow, star-seeking chug of the former and the pure wah wah indulgence of the latter are solid gold.

Speaking of fuzz – and we do, a lot – Contact High is full of it. Ridiculously reverbed guitar whooshes send the biker-bar riffs and feedback of date marker “2009” off into hyperdrive while the blunt-force spacer “The Recidivist” has its phasers set to stun and its drums spitting like machinegun fire. The red-eyed “Jammin On The 13th Floor” (where the elevator stops, obviously) dials down the distortion however in order to mysterious, rushing past all the same like the hypnotic view from on board some speeding train.

So far so what though. Contact High is good, but probably not worth sinking your nest egg into. Then comes the second platter – each side devoted to a single track. On the C-side there’s all 18 minutes of “Prismatic Reflections”, which starts as a squelchy and meditative cloud jam, but at 6 minutes in crunches the fuzz, a second strain two minutes later and an abject eruption of noise 30 after that. Cue then the tremolo that sounds like a field recording of an intergalactic laser battle before the inevitable money-shot blowout ensues.

More purposeful still is new track “The Plague”. Weighing in at a relatively slender 14 minutes it first heads off East in search of carefully echoed licks and the distant roll of thunder before cinematic drums smash in to drive the track on into muscular fury. These two beauties alone prove this labour of love to be 100% worthy of re-release – the tasty A- and B-sides are really just gravy.

Best tracks: “Great Shakes Baby” and “Alpha And Omega”

~The 350-pressing double LP re-release of Contact High is out June 23rd 2014 on Cardinal Fuzz.~