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Looming
Negative Pegasus

Label: SMALLTOWN AMERICA
Release date: 2012-10-15

There's not a lot of information floating around about Negative Pegasus, other than niche sites and journos who pick up on such little gems. What does the name mean - an opposite to the Greek mythological creature, kind of like a useless Black Beauty? Or something to do with astrophysics? Regardless, sitting at the noise-rock end of the ever-increasing psych genre, their sound is as intense as either circumstance suggests. Being predominantly instrumental, the band use vocals simply as an additional layer of sound - think Beak but heavier, mixed with Australia's DZ Deathrays.

Opener 'How It Happens', with it's one-chord strumming and a build-up of electronic beeps, isn't really a teller for the rest of the album - there's an odd vocal choice, clear and melodic, not really fitting with the rest. The ambitious guitar riff on 'Ottoman Silver' and wailing vocal on 'Floating Omen' reminds of Black Mountain at times, alongside an exciting tempo and drum beat. Some downtime comes in 'A Single Fuck', a title which leads you to think it's going to be typically raucous, but is a quieter number: Whale-like noises to start, building to a wall of guitar noise. Maybe that crescendo is the single fuck.

For the rest of the album, it's back to energetic and head-nodding guitar harmonies with 'The Black Thigh', and the Shrinebuilder-like start of 'Psychic Energy', resulting in something which reminded me at times of the more intense and less groove-driven parts of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Monotony kicks in here and there in the structure of their tracks, each one being quite noticeably formulaeic once you've listened to the album a few times. Cosmic whirrs drift in and out on 'Soaker', like a snapshot of a droning AMT track at only two-and-a-half minutes long, and again on 'Visitation', the wails and squeals accompanied by a tribal drum thump and a contrasting layer of angelic vocals.

Overall, Looming comes out at a more high-pitched range than doom, but with the same intensity and vigour, repetitive beats, cymbal crashes, squealing vocals, and lots of riffs. Moments of it are a bit NIN circa With Teeth considering the electro that creeps in. It's a vigorous debut from Negative Pegasus, sometimes drifting off into long, meandering experimental soundscapes, and all the signs of positive things to come.

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