Metamorphic is the new album from Orange Clocks and was released by Bad Elephant Music on Valentine’s Day of all days.
Anybody heard of Seventies’ supergroup Klementine Uhren’s soundtrack for Tope’s Sphere? Nope, me neither. So we can’t look at this new album with any wisdom or consideration of the Clocks’s reinterpretation of said item.
Now I have to confess to a secret liking of the noodlefests that bands like Afro Celt Sound System, Hawkwind, Gong and the Ozrics can do so well. So this is right up my cul-de-sac. What you get here is, in short, wigged-out guitars, swirling synths and a pounding rhythm section combining in seven cleverly crafted psychedelic space rock anthems .
Space Witch is the classic opener that summarises the band’s ethos – a driven opener, dark and broody yet with an ethereal Gong-ish swirl transforms into a guitar-riff-led punky rockout so evocative of the Hawks before an epic closing section that has me harking back to earliest Be Bop Deluxe. Eye Of Psybin begins more contemplatively, again multi-faceted, featuring by now trademark psychedelic minor key mood shifts, hard peaks and soft troughs. Tracks end and start without warning. Miles Away strays into Floydian/Bryan Josh territory to start with, its chilled mid-atlantic sense of harmonics a calm before the storm when the angst-ridden concluding section takes flight. Let Me Breathe has a hypnotic groove underpinning some Miquette Giraudy-like noodling, excellently melodic vocals and harmonies, shorter in length and not outstaying its welcome. Floating Temple has a really retro sound of 70’s riff-rock, and yet with a modern vibe, gaining a drone-like momentum to an inevitable and suitably subtle guitar crescendo. Ammonite is the last of the shorter tracks, a three minute stomp before the epic 28 minute closer Noggy Pop. With no time restraints, the band employ all effects to create a smorgasbord track, a Dick Dale/Shadows wah wah tango-like opening five minutes developing into a deafening shred section before a straight rock piece, reverb and echo-a-plenty. Stopping for a slowburn instrumental wig-out, a dark synth sound envelops, twists and turns, swirls and smothers, eventually breaking to give respite only for a haunting, residual fading scream-in-your-head closing finale.
Russ Russell (from labelmates Reformat, and who has worked as producer with Napalm Death, The Wildhearts and many others) has recorded, mixed and mastered the album with consumate skill and flair. It’s a very good addition to this excellent label!
Orange Clocks – Metamorphic
Eye Of Psybin
Let Me Breathe
Burn – drums
Derek Cotter – bass, vocals
Tom Hunt – synthesiser, vocals
Lee Jones – samples, synth, fx
Dan Merrils – guitar
Stuart Paterson – guitar
Written by Orange Clocks.
Recorded, produced and mastered by Russ Russell at Parlour Studios, UK.