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Hey Colossus: Radio Static High

Somerset sextet find new forms of heaviosity.

Currently on a prolific streak, Somerset-rooted, London-based free-form garage rockers Hey Colossus return with their second album this year, a gnarly widescreen audioscape every bit as compelling as its softer-sounding predecessor In Black And Gold.

And while hard-driving psych-drone Kraut-psych grind remains key to their brawny sound, the six-piece collective’s musical gene pool has been steadily enriched with punky and dubby elements, serrated riffs and choppy martial rhythms.

Radio Static High contains the usual smattering of lysergically fuzzy guitar churners, from the Floydian title track to the chiming psych-blues of The Mourning Gong. But the standout cuts rise above the heavy fog of stoner-rock nostalgia and slap listeners around the ears: urgent calls to arms like Hop The Railings, with its jittery groove and insolently yelping lyrical refrain, or Honey, a shuddering drone-metal war dance with echoes of Killing Joke.

March Of The Headaches, a propulsive, clanging riff spiked with a dystopian glam-punk vocal, is one of the strangest and strongest tunes these mercurial West Country noiseniks have yet recorded. Nine albums and 12 years into their journey, Hey Colossus have never sounded better.

Classic Rock 215: New Albums H-Z

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Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.