Let's get one thing straight first before we head any further into this review. This band are not named after a popular character from a certain franchise, more's the pity but they are not. That said, the reason why they are called Craang is just as good. It is the sound of what they hear when the guitars are struck and if that doesn't strike you as cool then you are in the wrong place.
Now, the music. What can we say about the music of Craang. Well, you know how cool sounding that name is? That is what the music is like too...but better. Craang take the slow, grinding bits of doom, they roll it around in dollops of space rock, then they add more doom, then a bit more space rock...then let rip. Over four tracks you repeatedly find yourself flabbergasted by the sheer power and exuberance of these songs.
There is no slow build up either regardless of the first song being called 'Slo Forward Jam'. Instead you get a doomified Cosmic Dead jam which descends into pure chaos and feedback before lifting you back up with its space noises. On paper it should be awful but in reality it works unbelievably well. The riot of noise coalesces to create a colourful palette against which the myriad moments do their work. It's trippy to the nth degree but also melodic as hell.
'Butterfly' introduces vocals and is more of a classic stomper. It's the archetypal single elongated to a bastardised length and introduces a much heavier sound to the band. Add in the following 'Magnolia' and you have a one-two punch which is liable to leave you out of your senses.
We have to have an epic these days, it's a prerequisite of pretty much all of the niche genres and Craang deliver with aplomb with the frightening 'The Meteorian'. Taking an age to get going on a plodding low end riff, it soon takes shape and unravels delightfully as it takes you on its long journey. It's 15 minutes of pure doom space rock and doesn't really get much better.
It'll be interesting to see where Craang go next. The material on this album is so top notch that you wonder whether they have burnt themselves out. It's the sort of music which could take any turn though and we must wait with excitement to see where this quite wonderful band take us next.
Craang can join that ever growing list of bands who have released some remarkable music this year and in their field they can stand head and shoulders over everybody else. You need Craang in your life, this is music for the head, soul and mind.