Comets On Fire


Comets On Fire
Blue Cathedral
Sub Pop

Comets On Fire have matured into a sleeker, leaner machine since 2002's Field Recordings From the Sun, growing from raw and grainy garage into a band polished enough to sound like Harvest Records-era Pink Floyd one moment and able to just get weirder from there. Blue Cathedral, the Comets' first recording for a suddenly resurging Sub Pop, finds the band at full magnitude, forging songs that will make you flash back to the first time you heard acid rock—and understood why it got its name. In the right kind of mental haze, you can trace the slow distortion of the guitars as they fade into your head; you can feel the drums slip a new rhythm into your heartbeat. It's easy to make the obvious comparisons—Echoplex looping! Blue Cheer!—but Comets still jump from mathy experimentation to free jazz to crunching guitar melodicism in the same verse-chorus-verse, rhyming pitch and frequency (instead of just monosyllables!) into their own wall of sound. Opening track “The Bee and the Cracking Egg” peaks into lavish space-rock guitar noise but slips into a valley of quiet tension before its final crescendo; comparatively quieter songs such as “Brotherhood of the Harvest” (Floyd alert!) let the Comets weave between ambience and mood, with flashes of Fun House-era Stooges, Robert Plant bravado, even Blue Oyster Cult woodsy weirdness. Cathedral's easy moments pull up the roots of Nuggets psychedelia and guitar gods of the '70s; its best moments fly right into outer space.

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