Death To The Planet by The Comet is ComingRelease date: May 5, 2017
Label: The Leaf Label
Whilst I have heard The Comet Is Coming before, Death To The Planet is the first time I have really sat and dissected one of their releases; owing to the fact that I wanted to try and attribute words to the dodgems of melody and brass that convulse and dance at the heart of this record…and I failed miserably.
It’s coming fast; it’s a comet.
They chose the right time to release this; the sun is shining down with increased vitality (the beautiful star, not the purveyor of bogus tabloid journalism) and the heat is seeping into everything be it melting chocolate, the scent of the air or the atmosphere of a piece of music. ‘Start Running’ beckons the listener in like a cartoon finger drawing us over to a fresh pie on a window ledge. It’s warm, sedately brass slowly waking from a deep sleep is initially reminiscent of one of the legendary Morphine and their tendency to start an album with a saxophone-led intro before darting into a vocal-led sophomore track. Here, vocals needn’t be considered. Not because it’s instrumental by nature, but because it’s instrumental by necessity. This first track sets the scene of the album as a magic carpet ride through psyche and jazz and Grails-esque post-rock touching bass with big band and samba and all sorts of world music styles; the overall impact being that, Death To The Planet feels like a band outside of this world surveying and scrutinising as H.G Wells would say like “insects under a microscope that swarm and multiply”.
The Comet Is Coming, alright and it’s headed for 2017. The Mayans were wrong the world didn’t end in 2012, that was just decency, there’s no words left to say, there’s nothing left to save, we lost the cultural war for the west and all we can do is dance in the fires that are building around us. ‘Start Running’ is the perfect theme to a rebellion against the ethical pits of the besmirched capitalism we’ve fallen into; evocative of the idea of Burning Man festival before it went corporate; the track oozes a mardi gras sense of festival in the traditional meaning of the term, chaos out of sorts with normality, celebrating disorder and rebellion and something sublimely distanced from this version of reality. The track is built on aggressive, sibilant percussion with hissing and crashing cymbals peppering articulation into the distant rumbling of the snare and toms; these rhythmic elements serve the oboe as a cult leader reigning its dominion over the track with a mesmerisingly, electric sermon. The listener is drawn into a world where the instrumental track drags the emotion and lucidity of Jazz with the atmosphere of world music to the psychotropic harmony of psychedelia. This is how you start an album by building an atmosphere that envelops everything in its presence.
‘Final Eclipse’; delves into a strange almost psytance vibe somewhat reminiscent of a band like Hilight Tribe whilst also kind of having a delectable Erased Tapes vibe. Its squelchy, lysergic synths sooth the listener with triptastic, gooey melodies whilst elsewhere synths and brass instruments relentlessly dance the tango de la muerte to ravished ear drums. I like how at its core it’s channeling house, but simultaneously destroying spacial perspective with mind-boggling psychedelia.
Further into the whacked-out rave psyche, ‘March Of The Rising Sun’ takes us to four A.M. in a festival tent atop a muddy field; black eyes darting around the room, bodies swaying uneasily; sickly to remember, euphoric in a fleeting moment that feels like forever. Each flurry on the cymbals; rapid eye movement, phosphenes, hallucinations and visual distortions replicated in synthesisers and drum loops. My spinning head is a slumberous, amaranthine trumpet, sweltering in the heat lunging towards some cerebral objective unidentified and unachieved, but the reward system is on fire and gratification is manufacturing itself on an endless loop. At times it’s perhaps reminiscent of HOLY FUCK, through its contrasting programmed rhythms and electronics, perhaps that’s just me though.
Somewhat out of the blue, ’Ascension’ closes the album with a more laid-back jazz vibe that for whatever reason reminded me of Mr. Scruff’s take on Bird’s Lament at first. It’s strange how it tours through the various elements on the album in such a short burst. It’s like listening to everything at once in that it all flies at the listener so fast that processing all the various elements is probably not a viable endeavour for anyone either listening for the first time or really anyone whose brain is not working on a huge electrical surge.
The Comet Is Coming and the album of the summer is at hand: Death To The Planet – It’ll cure what ails ya.