The Physics House Band

Mercury Fountain

Written by: LF on 04/05/2017 19:30:24

The new album from the Brighton, UK post-rock group The Physics House Band that came out a couple of weeks ago, is some of the most eclectic I've heard in a while. The band is a trio, consisting of a drummer and two multi-instrumentalists that mostly cover various synths, guitar, and bass. Their style is a kind of hybrid between instrumental psychedelic music and experimental post-rock, and this is their sophomore album, following their 2013 debut, "Horizons / Rapture".

The album covers nine tracks in just twenty-nine minutes so as you can see, the long rising soundscapes that are so genre-typical for post-rock are not what we're getting here. Still, all of the songs on the album float into each other even as they change character almost instantly so the album still manages to play as one long interconnected thing. The ones that instantly call out for the listener's attention are the most experimental ones of the album like the heavy and psyched out "Surrogate Head" or the more aggressive combo of "Obidant" and "Impolex" that use skewered string- and flute-like sounds to make everything sound off. There's an extraordinary amount of layers and detail to the music though, so as you listen more closely, the other songs open up one by one.

Through the album, we get some very varied sounds. The album single "Calypso" is very busy in a way that could be likened to the math-rock of Mutiny on the Bounty, while "A Thousand Small Spaces" cleans the palate midways with a more traditional, twinkling soundscape sound. As the most impressive song here, "The Astral Wave" goes all out with a big guitar riff, strings and a playful saxophone towards the end and succeeds wonderfully in being experimental while not going completely off the edge although it introduces some very eccentric elements. Everything is neatly collected between the synth and smooth sax themes of "Mobius Strip" and "Mobius Strip II" that begin and finish off the record, the titles of which only add to its psychedelic vibes.

The diversity in style that manages to cross post-rock, psych and math rock as well as some jazzy tendencies here and there, makes sure that there aren't many boring moments to be found here as you're always listening attentively to hear where the music will go to next. Still, I come back to the album for a few tracks and not the whole experience even though the tracks are very strategically placed as to offer us a chance to relax the ears everytime one of the more crazy passages has raged by. Thus, it's a well-conceived album overall and definitely worth your time if you're into experimental, instrumental music.


Download: The Astral Wave, Surrogate Head, Impolex
For The Fans Of: Jaga Jazzist, Tera Melos, Three Trapped Tigers, Mutiny on the Bounty

Release date 21.04.2017
Small Pond Records

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