Rocket - Mission Control receive the first incoming transmissions for:
GNOD DROP OUT WITH WHITE HILLS II
BBC 6 Music will be transmitting for a single week on the FREAKZONE
& a great review at Terrascope online (April 2010)
White Hills are becoming quite the kings of collaboration following their “Collisions” double-billing with Bristol’s the Heads – a “Godzilla meets the Tinnitus Monster” feature if ever there was one – and now this two-up, to be released in May.
The latest extension of the international hand of friendship pitches our favourite New Yorkers with Manchester space rangers Gnod on 8 tracks grouped into 4 phases.
Deceptively quiet opener “Bits” soon gives way to what will become a trademark groove on “Run-A Round”. There’s a word for this type of repetitive, hypnotic beat music, it begins with “K” and it’s overused to the point where it transcends laziness, so let’s call it “stoner trance”. Hell, call it what you want, this is plain magnificent from end to end. “Spaced Man” is a 13 minute test of both one’s stamina and sanity. To put it plainly, the first 8 minutes or so are delightfully moronic. Pedestrian, yes, predictable, certainly and quite possibly turgid and it works wonderfully, complete with the Hawkwind-style oscillators (and I’m nothing if not a sucker for oscillators). The last 5 minutes dispense with the drums and the Neanderthal riffing and what you are left with is the basic track, a harmonious wash of sound to hold your hand through the comedown. “Well Hang” is a bit on an odd man out whereon The Exorcist meets a mad bongo tapper on a journey to the outer limits. “Drop Out” pitches us back into a righteous Hawkwind groove circa “In Search of Space” (spookily, as I heard this for the first time in the car I was being sent down a diversion due to road works which took me along an unfamiliar lane and past a bungalow with the house name “Hawkwind”. Sometimes you really can’t script this stuff). “Per Sempre” winds things up beautifully – it’s like the first few guitar notes of “The End” by the Doors played on an endless loop but as it progresses it becomes subtly more intricate until what you end up with is a mesmerising and compelling 15 minute meditation.
I really can’t rate this too highly. With a General Election coming up and the scraps being fought over by an increasingly bereft and moribund looking bunch I’d give my vote to whoever is prepared to insist that this be played at all morning school assemblies and broadcast forcibly over the contents of Glee, Plop Idol, X Factor or whatever else happens to be poisoning our collective cultural psyche at the time.
Vote White Hills and in Gnod we trust. Gear! (Ian Fraser)