Hey Colossus – Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo (MIE Music)
London’s acclaimed noise rock band Hey Colossus returns with their 8th record, one with which they have made a new fan of Louder Than War’s Chris Hearn.
First impression? WOW! I’ve never heard of this band before, but you can’t help but hear them because they are good, loud, raw and nervy. Yes, nervy. They have the nerve to sound so damn good, so damn inventive, so damn solid, so damn fine! This is a brilliant album of noise, fuzz, feedback and ghostly screams and growls. There is an industrial element, mixing in loops, glitches and bleeps which add to the dark, moody, beastly quality of these utterly amazing songs. It is just a solid sonic wall that reverberates through ones entire body and soul.
So, there are 8 members in this current incarnation of the band, and, guess what? This is their 8th album! Is that amazing or what? Well, no actually, it’s not. It just shows that they have been plugging away for a long time now, which is great to see. Ten years, in fact for this London/Somerset band.
Apparently, according to their record label, MIE, they are gaining fans and accolades. Mind you, you don’t find many record labels saying “Nobody listens to this band. They are rubbish and everyone thinks so.” But, they did get a slot on the Supersonic Festival in 2012, which saw them playing in front of large crowds, and other reviewers seem to be singing the praises of Hey, Colossus, so the PR guys at MIE aren’t too far off.
Off the top, opener ‘Hot Graves’ has a bit of a disco, funky groove thing happening, but with a heavy, dark, hazed out tone. And then the devil visits in the form of the lead vocalist who I believe is Paul Sykes, unless that has changed in their seemingly regular shift in membership holders. He brings a Zeke or High on Fire quality that sounds raw and otherworldly….a world you don’t want to visit.
Mid way through is the amazingly chilled out freak show that is ‘How to Tell Time with Jesus’, which if you listen to it over and over again will probably hypnotize you into believing you are really telling time with Jesus. It’s chilled, but still has this funk groove underbelly that is so organic and earthly, while the vocals, electronics and loops mix in some unearthly, unorganic and unholy sounds.
The album closes out in fine style with ‘Pit and Hope’. No end of creepiness here, with almost Steam Punk industrial loops under chilled out, spacey instrumentation and graveyard boogey man vocals. Over nine minutes of dark, heavy moodiness.
This really is a stunning release that deserves any and all praise it receives. It messes with the brain, while ripping apart your rib cage. Both earth shattering loud and out of this world. Mellow to mind melting in a few loops and screams. Brilliant, brilliant stuff by Hey Colossus.
Words by Chris Hearn. More writing by Chris on Louder Than War can be found here.