Gnod & Radar Men From The Moon - Temple Ov BBV

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2017-06-09

GNOD should be known to everyone already as they have released some of the best albums of the last few years, including this year's Just Say No. Radar Men From The Moon are an Eindhoven-based instrumental who play shoegaze, neo-psych, kraut, space and noise rock. Temple Ov BBV is 'a collaborative work and a performative gesture between RMFTM and GNOD. The culmination of these two groups can be interpreted as a stream of materialized thoughts, in which their work can be listened, viewed and contemplated in ever changing ways.’

Butchers Tears starts with a metronomic sound that lasts for almost a minute until the band(s) join in. The sound is the Noise/Psychedelia/Gang of Four combination of Just Say No with Paddy Shine shouting over the top about always being on the wrong end of the stick. The song breaks down and returns to the metronome before slowly rebuilding into a Noise/Post-Punk, one-chord onslaught followed by a lengthy screaming session. It's fantastic, especially as the intensity builds during the call and response section at the end.

Flatulent noises introduce Your Party. It's another slow start (not a criticism) and it reminds me a bit of Coil with the suggestion of Free Jazz and Dub. The vocal starts after 4 minutes and is spoken word, much calmer than the previous track. The song becomes ever more layered over the course of its nine minutes but the build up is more restrained than on Butchers Tears. In contrast to the previous two tracks, the full band crashes in at the start of The Other Side Of The Night in a lurching, early-Bad Seeds type of groove with a Holger Czukay/Dub bass-line. GNOD and RMFTM are great at this. It sounds like all the bands on the bill of a CND concert in the early 80s but also like the future. Again, the intensity builds with the introduction of call-and-response vocals and again it breaks down, leaving space, noise and spoken word which builds in intensity.

What Happens To Memories When You Die starts with some Sonic Youth noises and an insistent, one-chord riff which is soon joined by a second, angrier guitar. With the drums, all these parts form a rolling rhythm almost like an extended James Brown track. The intensity builds and the eleven minutes passes before you know it. This is my favourite track on the album. The song appears to be mentioning trepanation (also mentioned in Your Party) and the album title does reference Bart Huges' book on trepanation - The Mechanics Of Brain Blood Volume (BBV).

The last track, Taurus, is a slow starter as the scene is set with cymbals, hum, Free Jazz screeches and spoken word from Paddy Shine. The build up on this song is particularly slow and restrained over its 12 minutes. But the screeches become more insistent, the hums more ominous and the rhythm more involved.

This year, everything that Rocket Recordings have released has been top quality and Temple Ov BBV is no exception. I don't know (and don't need to know) the division of labour here, but the names of GNOD and Rocket on the cover should be all the insurance you need that you're going to receive an intense, thought-provoking, politically-engaged, musically-adventurous pummelling.

 

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