Dropping out of warp drive just long enough to beam out an urgent transmission, Dublin astro’nauts Wild Rocket set the controls for the heart of the sun, make like a fiery phoenix and go full-blown supernova on this, their debut album.
Straight out of the Tannhäuser gate, the fantastic four make all of the right space-rock noises, all eastern scales and Hawkwind swooshes, bleeps and bloops but halfway through opening number Layers, something kicks in and sends the whole thing rocketing skyward at lightspeed. Sure, the Hawkwind and Ozric Tentacles vibe is still there, only now instead of sounding distinctly, uhh, ‘herbal’ they sound like they’re smashed out of their mind on Pan-Galactic Gargleblasters and mainlining Adrenochrome, a fuzzed-out Chrome-plated star destroyer.
Blowholes kicks in like an exploding planet – putting me in mind of a more forceful take on Queens Of The Stone Age’s Avon – lurching and powering along mightily, driven by the atom-smashing guitars of Jon K, the pummelling glide of Bres‘ drums and the subsonic boom and smeared muttering gibber of Moose while Niallo weaves sonic synthesizer tapestries through the whole kaboodle like a T.I.E. Fighter zipping through an asteroid swarm. Sulphur Assassinsis a particularly nifty example of exactly how well this formula works for the band – galloping along at a reasonable clip, the softly noodling synths really pull the ear, but then so do the dramatic crashing guitars and one can’t help but take in the whole sonic vista as one epic panorama.
A brutalist take on early QOTSA would be a pretty decent reference point for the kind of heft that Wild Rocket shoulder, but SF Acid-Punk weirdoes Chrome and fellow post-punk hardcore space cadets The VSS are definitely present at this party, providing the synth sheen and SFX burbles. Whilst there is a touch of Monster Magnet, Wild Rocket are by no means as overtly rockist as Wyndorf.
The typical Wild Rocket track to be found here powers and lurches along speedily in muscular fashion, letting the bruising guitar, bass and drum combo do all of the heavy lifting whilst those wonderful synths add pointillist looping melodies and cascades of echoing chirrups, making for a thoroughly thrilling wild ride.
Eastern-influenced scales rear their head, cobra-like, a few times across the album – most notably on the hypno-chiming intro to Interplanetary Vibrations – but always subsume into a ‘phasers-to-kill’ guitar scorch over time. It’s like there’s something incubating inside the band that just wants to burst free and lash out….if you catch my drift.
Never so far out as to vanish pretentiously up their own gravity well but far from earthbound, Wild Rocket smash their debut recording right out of the galaxy with a consummate display of taste, chops and raw power.
Scribed by: Paul Robertson