18 Feb 2015

Blown Out "Jet Black Hallucinations"

Review by Joseph Murphy.

Available in March, "Jet Black Hallucinations" is Blown Out’s follow-up to 2014’s "Drifting Way Out Between Suns" and the inaugural (for all involved) release from Golden Mantra Records. The Newcastle, UK trio – Mike Vest, Jean-Michael Hedley, and Matt Baty – are seasoned mappers of massive sounds and veterans of heavy psychedelia. Their combined experience includes playing in BONG, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Drunk in Hell, Khunnt, Haikai No Ku, and 11 Paranoias (many of whom have released new music within the last year and are worth the hours of listening available there). For those familiar with these projects – which span a spectrum of sounds – this album is like coming home; it expands the sonic palette and pushes the musicians’ sound to a limit. "Jet Black Hallucinations" is comprised of three epic jams that feel both improvised and intensely choreographed. They’re heavy; they’re dense; they’re hypnotic. And the album tears in for about 40 minutes – though you could always play it on loop forever.

The first track, “Jet Black Hallucinations,” begins with what sounds like warming-up – both for you the listener and the musicians themselves – the low-end of the bass prevails, hinting at the riff to come; cymbals rush, just waiting; and that guitar wails to the brink of chaos. Immediately, you know what you’ve gotten yourself into. And, if you’re not ready, this is your fair warning. You know right then what kind of album follows: constant bass lines, expressive and freeform rhythms, and guitar freakouts. And it doesn’t disappoint.

“Ultrawave Communications,” the closing track, slows the tempo a bit with a doom-laden bass line that swallows the slippery guitar work and patient build of the drums. While under complete control, the track allows for moments of perfect havoc that rise and fall throughout, marking the passing of time and obliterating it entirely.

Blown Out’s "Jet Black Hallucinations" is a welcome addition to the blissed-out community of rockers. These three songs stand up against the best riffs out there – and far, far out there; they feel weathered and familiar like ruins but only now do we understand what they mean. For the doom- and psych-minded alike, this record will be in heavy rotation. It’s a quarter-of-an-hour worth of riff exploration and star-mapping.

"Jet Black Hallucinations" is available for pre-order through the Bandcamp widget below. Blown Out’s bandcamp page, as well, hosts a bit of live material worth a look.

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