Fuzz buzz a go go from this Columbia South Carolina quartet on this their first full length. Fans of Uncle Acid will dig these dudes take on Sabbath soaked psychedelic B movie grooves.
The band have a love of Butthole Surfers and George Clinton and cut their black powder with funk and acid to lift the heavy riffs out of the atmosphere.
Opening with the title track, which is filled with swirling Hammonds provided by Moses Andrews III and the reverb saturated voice of Reno El Cheapo Gooch, the tiedye and lava lamps are set to stun. The rhythm section of Jay Matheson (bass) and tubthumper Brandon Johnson keep the backing heavy and loose limbed. Space Coke have steered away from straight Sabbath worship, rather striding bell bottom clad into the arena where the aforementioned Uncle Acid, Purson and Kadavar like to nurse their hookahs. It’s not new but it’s groovy baby.
Corpsewood Manor is a fast paced desert rocker with more than a hint of James Marshall Hendrix in its riffs. The keys drive the rhythm and give an extra layer that elevates the track from stoner also rans. Lucid Dream is a staccato voiced space funk trip. Great fun, full of distortion and massive hooks. Hawkwind meets Parliament.
Thelemic Ritual brings us back down to earth and the Hammer Horror grooves we have come to expect from modern occult B-movie rockers. Cue bare breasts and hooded figures by torchlight. Sounds like my kinda happening.
There are two covers on the album which seems a little churlish. When two out of eight tracks are written by greats such as the Velvets and Stevie Wonder I start to wonder if these guys ran out of steam and should have stuck to an E.P.
The cover of Venus in Furs is leaden. It is like listening to the original with toffee in your ears. Reno sounds like he is the other side of a bar of Xanax. Tired and weary you sound like a bored goth mate.
The second cover is “Evil” by Stevie Wonder. Here Space Coke have invited in Deborah Adedokun from local band Debbie and the Skanks and one man Drone experimentalist Xothun. Evil is a gospel style ballad that ended 1972’s “Music of My Mind”.
This is an interesting track. Debbie has an amazingly soulful voice which brings out the beautiful melancholy of the track. Quite what the minimal distortion Xothun lays down brings to the table I do not know. The same goes for the rest of Space Coke. I think these guys were just giving props to a local talent. Great voice . Wrong album.
Add to this “Noise Jam Trip” which is an indulgent mish mash of movie clips and noodling I feel that the Space Coke guys could have cut down on the baby laxative and given the public a straighter cut.
This is a great E.P padded out into an album. Definite promise. Sometimes less is more baby.
(6/10 Matt Mason)