Villalog: Spacetrash

Third outing for the Austrian Krautrockers.

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Krautrock’s kinder tend to fall into two broad categories: the proggy psych voyagers, and the more hipsterish adherents to the groove, happy to orbit the motorik pulse of Neu! and Can to the point of abstraction.

Austria’s Villalog fall into the latter category, and while they’ve added disco and dub to their sound in the past, album three sees the band turn away from genre-splicing and more towards probing their sources for all they’re worth. Good thing too. Whereas 2009’s Cosmic Sister often meandered into insignificance, Spacetrash is hitched more tightly to Krautrock’s nascent sense of wonder as songs evolve with meticulous, gradual care. They haven’t entirely abandoned their use of modern electronica, and the lush pneumatic drive of Alphaville (like Pan Sonic bathed in Radox) is one of the highlights. Elsewhere, Bassknopf and Orange Sunshine are hitched to familiar rolling, perpetual grooves, the latter even throwing in hefty a dose of Hawkwind for good measure. NVN cleaves to Can’s Mother Sky like an infant learning its first moves, but Villalog have rarely sounded so engaged. One step back, with infinite steps forward at their disposal.

Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.