[sic] Magazine

The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol – Masters Of The Molehill

With a name like that, kraut-psyche rockers The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol are deliberately playing hard to get and their release schedule and relatively obscure status to date confirm it. Blowing select minds since 2008, TBWNIAS have so far let fly nine tiny private press and lathe-cut editions of their extensive back catalogue from their Birdman Sounds record store in Ottawa and, needless to say, they’re now impossible to come by. These space-rock lifers’ new album, Masters Of The Molehill, on the other hand, comes in a gargantuan run of 350 and they’ll go in a blink of an eye too, because the TBWNIAS six-piece are a rarity in their own right – a cult classic recognised in their own time.

Readily available on bandcamp, 2014’s Pathfinder LP was a collage of meditative stoner drones interlaced with psyche-metal riffs. Masters Of The Molehill runs with the gauntlet, no song on its surprisingly tight A-side overdoing it all the same. TBWNIAS’s instrumental fade in and out as they please, ambient noise, electrical interference and feedback turning on a dime into fuzzy kraut-rockers and smothering, heavy jams. The questionably titled “Baalslapper” scorches all those arched eyebrows clean off the face with a hard-rocking chug and razor-edged riffs while “LM” locks straight into your neuro-receptors, turning the frontal cortex into lead. It renders the listener stupefied and unable to focus. Put this in tablet form and all the misfit kids would be doing it.

Side B is reserved for two lengthy, patient rollers. “GOD II” drops in and out, killer pay-off and dirty guitar disappearing into bare-bones construct before hauling itself off the canvas for another round like a dazed prize fighter. The 12-minute closer “Ice Rings” is more soothing, however, synth drones and cymbal shimmer growing in stature throughout. Metallic pings and a low rumble of drums announce a shift in mood, menacing sci-fi effects interrupting the experimental ambience, melody and stable percussion siddling into view. It sounds like a shuddering leviathan waking up to an incoming battle fleet – today, at least, however, it passes without firing a shot. Seek out your nearest interstellar transporter to join the impending war.

~Masters Of The Molehill is released November 28th 2015 via the collaborative efforts of Cardinal Fuzz and Birdman Sounds.~