First off, a tremendous and very worthwhile London gig to plug next month. A Requiem For Jack Rose takes place at Café Oto in Dalston on February 16, with a neat bill of Rose friends; Hush Arbors, Heather Leigh, Rick Tomlinson, Michael Flower Band and C Joynes. More details about the show here at No-Fi.

First off, a tremendous and very worthwhile London gig to plug next month. A Requiem For Jack Rose takes place at Café Oto in Dalston on February 16, with a neat bill of Rose friends; Hush Arbors, Heather Leigh, Rick Tomlinson, Michael Flower Band and C Joynes. More details about the show here at No-Fi.



Hearing about the show reminded me that I hadn’t blogged about one of my favourite albums to arrive in the past month or so: Tomlinson’s latest incarnation as Voice Of The Seven Thunders. I’ve written ad nauseam about how few current British psych players can effectively measure up against their American contemporaries, almost invariably hyping Tomlinson as one of the exceptions that proves the rule.

“Voice Of The Seven Thunders”, the album, proves that once again. Ostensibly, it’s the follow-up to 2007’s Voice Of The Seven Woods album, though Tomlinson has put out a few, generally solo and acoustic, things in the interim. There’s the odd interlude of acoustic reverie this time out (“Dry Leaves”, say). Mostly, though, Tomlinson focuses on focused tribal psych jams, all pounding drums and pretty ferocious snaking guitar solos.

It’s a fantastically exciting album, from the gently sung opener, “Open Lighted Doorway”, that only lasts for 15 seconds before the awesome “Kommune” barrels in, a ringing, booming, driving monster that very roughly resembles Träd Gräs Och Stenar having a crack at “Children Of The Revolution”. Tomlinson’s great gift throughout is to play with a freedom, intensity and relentlessness that doesn’t mitigate against melody and discipline.

In that way, I’m reminded – as I so often am, tediously – of Comets On Fire and their last stand, “Avatar”, not least in the way VO7T can sound epically windswept while also having a residual, exhilarating, punk motor. Worth mentioning, too, that the Anatolian psych influence prominent on the Voice Of The Seven Woods album is here again, with Tomlinson blazing away in a manner not unlike Erkin Koray.

The whole thing charges along fairly breathlessly, so that even a seven-minute ritual chugger like “Cylinders” seems to breeze by. There’s a tribal choogle, “Dalälven”, that’s faintly reminiscent of Endless Boogie’s more cosmic adventures, and an amazing clanging freak-out called “Set Fire To The Forest” which abruptly collapses into a Janschian state after about five minutes, before suddenly rearing up into boggle-eyed motorik again.

The album’s book-ended by vocal tracks, and “Disappearances” is a lovely closer, a blasted canyon singalong in the vein of the last PG Six album, or maybe more recent work by Hush Arbors (I think Keith Wood may be figuring in the current VO7T lineup, incidentally). Great record; can’t wait to see them live.