Dragon Welding - Dragon Welding - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Dragon Welding - Dragon Welding

by Bill Golembeski Rating:9 Release Date:2019-03-15
Dragon Welding
Dragon Welding

This is an album from Andrew Golding, the guy who played in The Wolfhounds. Various sources cite Moonshake, The Telescopes, Neu!, The LA’s, The Last Shadow Puppets, and Notwist as similar sounds. All right, take your pick.

But I hear the very best of the idiosyncratic rock singer-instrumentalist. The first song, “Dirty Stick” is incidental music that leads to “The Builders” with a pulsing acoustic guitar and distantly beautiful vocal. The song reminds me of (the great) Peter Hammill’s early solo stuff like “Modern” from the brilliant The Silent Corner and the Empty Stage album. This is driving and cerebral stuff, with lyrics like “Why look at the sky when there’s nothing to see no heaven no hell” and “all rational thought is dismissed pushed aside…moments of madness become the design.” This easily passes the pH test for doom and gloom. And there’s a wonderful psych guitar solo, the likes of which I haven’t heard since those Wolfhound halcyon days.

This is a great and very modern rock song.

There are acoustic tunes, the type of quiet moments that graced prog albums. “One Miserable Summer” balances piano, guitar, and voice, and could be the one of those latent songs prog bands would insert between epic big workouts that usually dealt with the horrors of war, imminent destruction of Earth as we know it, or the usual dystopian stuff in which electric guitar playing and any other expression of free thought was banished from our collective cerebral cortex. Books were usually banned, too! This quietude was always a pleasant moment of relief and beauty. The song follows the same path and simply wanders with its own slow wisdom. “These Are Dangerous Times” is also full-frontal acoustic, but this has a brisk rhythm, with a deep electric guitar that flows in the depths of this psych-prog river. The song crosses circuits with (the great) Bevis Frond.

And then there is loud stuff. “Slap” grinds an electric guitar over percussion that invokes an Eastern vibe. Now, as an old reference, these aged ears hear an echo of (my beloved) Jade Warrior, especially their earlier rockier stuff with Tony Duhig’s signature guitar and John Field’s ethnic percussion. “Join the Dots” continues with another brisk rhythm and rocks with weird dancefloor steps, while, once again, the vocals evoke some distant beauty. And then that psych guitar erupts with volcanic passion.

Seriously, I’m hearing throwback sounds to the bands I loved from 1969.

And, by the way, yes indeed, this does sound like The Wolfhounds circa their dense sound like “Gutter Charity,” or the wonderfully noisy “Blue Nowhere” from Attitude.

“The Dumb” is dark and electronic. Again, the great Peter Hammill comes to mind, especially with his more experimental The Future Now songs that bend a nice melody over a music concrete soundscape. And it’s fair to say that German Kosmische Musik permeates this entire record.

Acoustic guitars chime with “Bucket List No. 1.” This leads into the vocal of “Bucket List No 2” with its infectious melody.  

And then, the true prog test. “Solidarite” is a few seconds of music that introduces “The Lament for Common Sense” which is a deep space journey in to the motherload of that before mentioned Kosmische Musik, which this time is the whole shebang (in preference to a Big Bang) of about eight minutes of galactic vibrations that run rings around, well, the rings of Saturn and beyond…

So, in the end, this album does sail away into the eternal heavens of space without much rock. It’s a nice serene coda to an album that is filled with a universe of vibrant sounds, intelligent lyrics, psych-rock ‘n’ roll, and lovely acoustic cosmic tunes.

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