I was very pleased when Cardinal Fuzz re-released Contact High last year, having missed it’s original release way back in 2009. You can read my review here.
Well the good news is that Population IV follows hot on its heels, being released by Cardinal Fuzz (CFUL035) on 02 February 2015 as a 500 Pressing on a 2 Colour swirl vinyl with a locked groove bonus on side A, insert and download of not only the LP but of a specially put together edit of live jams and rehearsal for this release called “Psychic Driving”. It is available from Cardinal Fuzz online shop
And it’s a brilliant follow up, Population IV has a great collection of songs ranging from improvised jams, shorter solo improvisations, post grunge and all out psych. The band have a great tight knit sound, drums and bass provide a solid foundation for the excellent guitar improvisation. This is an excellently crafted album which has a brilliant focus and intensity. It is a highly recommended release.
Chapel Perilous Opens the album with an instrumental song which has a great improvised / jam feel. Excellent variations in tone and feel throughout, building a great tension to end the song.
Hothouse Builds on this theme with another great jam. Again there are great tonal variations and excellent control to build and release tension. A great change of tempo builds a crescendo with a great wah / feedback solo to end the song.
Sad Alien and Winking Skeleton This song is more uptempo, opening with a great distorted lead line which is accompanied by a second similar lead line with wah. There’s a great interplay between the two during the song which has a great post grunge / stoner rock kind of feel. The vocals are excellent and really add to the vibe.
Seya Is then a return to the instrumental jam type of sound. The song has a great vibe and explores different aspects of this through great riffs and solos.
The Bee’s Eyes A short improvisation which has a more uptempo feel. The song has great solos with wah and excellent tone.
The Sorcerers Great feedback and distorted riff to open the song. The controlled playing provides a great intensity and the vocals are more spoken and have a laid back feel but still create a great tension. Great lead playing again, the song has a great drive and intensity.
Throne Control Great opening riff, creates a laid back groove which acts as a basis for improvisation. The song has a more acoustic sound with great expression building tension really well with the increasingly distorted tones and more intense soloing. Excellent build and release of tension.