Poland’s Spaceslug are a busy band. Their universe started to come together in 2015 but the big bang happened for them with debut LP “Lemanis” in 2016 and follow up, “Time Travel Dilemma” one year later. Punctuated by an EP release, “Eye The Tide” represents a close to an LP trilogy that finds them expanding horizons and broadening their musical soundscape. Founding members Bartosz Janik on guitar and Kamil Ziółkowski on drums completed their crew with bass man Jan Rutka and have never looked back.
Space rock noise bleeds into foggy stoner metal on opening track, “Obsolith” which lies somewhere between Hawkwind and Kyuss. Full of prog musings before gradually ascending into a distortion fuelled voyage through the heavens, it’s deeply atmospheric without reliance simply on big riffs. A sense of space and expansion is instantly apparent on the opening tracks with a conceptual feel hanging over proceedings. A low end, fuzzed up hum in the style of Truckfighters emerges on “Eternal Monuments”, which drips with a droning sci-fi aura. The smooth, driving bass and pinging guitar notes form the soundtrack to what feels like a cosmic journey; a sensory feast whose relative calm is exploded once the gargantuan riffs take off. The band have gone for an epic and grand scale mixing warm, smooth tones with moments of oversized heaviness.
The band’s desire to give their sound a more progressive slant becomes most obvious on “Vialys Part I And II”. Dipping its’ toe into the Frank Zappa pond, it has a trippiness and quirk factor that forms an interesting detour from previous tracks. Liberal use of effects give it an early 70’s Pink Floyd vibe and they give themselves plenty of room to breathe with the track continuing to grow with a sense of urgency. Closing number, “I, The Tide” begins with the warmth and serenity of chiming guitar over a luxuriant rhythm before a deep, propulsive groove sets in. Generous helpings of fuzzy tones mix with restrained, monotone vocals whose droning chant creates a sense of boundless cosmic distance. A heavy doom climax introduces the final stanza and is one of the few moments where there’s a malevolence to those big riffs as they gradually fade away.
Spaceslug’s journey continues to explore new territories. For those who want to seek out their inner star child and immerse themselves in a psychedelic, cosmic voyage, there’s plenty to satisfy with this cut. Perhaps not Earth shattering but endearingly otherworldly nonetheless.
(7/10 Johnny Zed)