I saw Hey Colossus a couple of years back at the Bristol Psych Fest and they pretty much ripped my head off and shat down my neck. They had presence and sound and they owned it.
This is their twelfth studio album and sees them continuing to push themselves to try new things. This has resulted in a somewhat all over the place discography but that depends if you are a journey or destination person.
"Four Bibles" sounds like an attempt (relatively speaking) to go mainstream which for this band is probably the most experimental thing they could do at this juncture. In truth it is quite difficult to weigh up the pros and cons of this one and that is possibly true of any Hey Colossus album, not least becaue it can take many listens to reach a solid conclusion and I am not in a position to do that as yet.
My first impression then, is of something more indie sounding than previous outings and altogether less heavy and post-punk. The vocals are more in focus and there is also more room (mix wise) for piano, electronics and violin, the later supplied by Daniel O'Sullivan and everything has its space and feels reined in. However, it does leave one with the impression of something that could have been done by other bands rather than something that could only have been done by Hey Colossus.
"Memory Gore" and "It's A Low" both have videos and could be singles but "Confession Bay" sounds more like one to me. They are not a singles band. "(Decompression)" could be an exercise in production techniques. Things get more interesting from "The Golden Bough" onwards. Call it an eleven minute dirge but it is both epic and rewarding. Shimmering guitar and more submerged vocals lead down roads to who knows where.
"Palm Hex_Arndale Chins" is a nice antidote to this. Two and a half minutes of churning maelstrom. "Babes Of The Plague" has that post-punk edge to it. "You've got to throw your money, into the river". The titular closer again sees them stretching out and lurching about in a fit of Drunk N Roll. Both ham fisted and glorious in equal measures. The jury is still out on this one but the best way to digest this band and their new material will be on the upcoming tour.