Thought Belarus’ music scene stopped at Eurovision? Think again! Named after ER Eddison’s 1922 epic fantasy novel (not to be confused with the similarly-named San Francisco post-rock trio), The Worm Ouroboros offer a blend of high art, freakery and fun.
L’Impasse Sainte Beregonne establishes a carnivalesque, flute-tooting, bassoon-bending framework that is mischievous in an almost contemporary classical way, before spanning out into a cracking prog guitar lead.
Softer synth-led tones in Shelieth gradually spawn tuneful, jazzy Steely Dan guitar, with winding journeys through pretty playfulness and darker shades in longer numbers — realised to enigmatic effect in the colourful, confidently rocking Return To The Cold Sea Of Nothing. Listening to The Pear-Shaped Man you have to remind yourself this is a bunch of guys from Minsk in 2013; not some long-haired, cheesecloth-draped Canterbury crew circa 1970.
Deep proggy distortion, organ frenzy, Jethro Tull-meets-Caravan hisses of ‘the pear-shaped maaaaan!’ The myriad ideas bounced around suggest they’re still experimenting with their musical identity. It’s clearly a ‘work in progress’ worth watching.