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First sign of life: Hey Colossus- Dances/Curses (2020 Wrong Speed Records)

For my first write-up after a long while I couldn’t have picked a better start. Dive with me into the rollercoaster rabbit hole that is the new Hey Colossus…

If you’re listening to the narrator of The Mirror you can feel that Mark Lanegan approves of this album, and of course I have no option but to fully agree. Subconsciously this band and I have been around the block. They are like that beautiful girl you knew when you were young and that shows up years later as grown woman and still gives you a mini-heart attack. I remember seeing Hey Colossus in Tilburg around 2007 on ZXZW festival (later to be Incubate Festival) and they were still some uber-heavy sludge metal band. While those days are far gone, they shedded their heavy skin for a much more interesting chameleon hide. On Dances/Curses Hey Colossus sound like Swans if they upped the beat and played Autobahn all the time. Or Motorpsycho playing their favorite Joy Division songs, or…well, you catch my drift.

Space is the place, and time does not have a lot of meaning for these guys. Dances/Cursus gives us no less than seventy minutes (two discs!) of relentless built-ups, angular space jams, and some righteous vocals. A Trembling Rose is the album’s “piece de resistance” clocking over 16 minutes, and ending in one of the most breathtaking crescendos this side of 2020. It’s these moments, when the record takes flight, and you can’t help but just lift up and surrender to the thrusting throb of the drums, that the album shows real masterpiece moments. Dances? Maybe, but curses definitely. Curses at corona for not being able to watch this trip machine live any time soon. I curse these guys for having the guts to jam, fuck time and space, and write their music straight from the heart.

Hey Colossus is a band that consciously defies boundaries, of time but also of genre. You could try to pigeonhole them, as I tried, but you would only capture them in a moment that would be gone the next time you look. Dances/Curses is an excellent glance at what they can be though. But I’ll stop my rambling. By now it should be clear enough you are going to need to buy this record. It’s got Mark Lanegan’s gravelly voice telling us he’s “navigating a black hole”. The other seventy minutes are a bonus, really.

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