Friday, December 6, 2019

Full Length Review: HHOOGG "Earthling, Go Home!" (Crystal Space Bricks) by Dave Wolff

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Country: USA
Genre: Psychedelic space rock, jam
Full Length: Earthling, Go Home!
Label: Crystal Space Bricks
Format: Digital
Release date: February 25, 2019
Frazer Jones of Desert Psychlist recently made a loose comparison between Hhoogg’s “Earthling, Go Home!” and classic Star Trek. As much as I prefer avoiding comparisons, this one seems to fit, if it was an episode of Star Trek as seen from the perspective of the Doors or Pink Floyd who were given free reign writing the soundtrack. I also thought of Forbidden Planet and 2001: A Space Odyssey with special effects made under the orchestration of hallucinogenics. Forget CGI and massive explosions; what’s wrong with science fiction movies that look like an acid user who just graduated from art school remade Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon with psychedelic stoner rock that’s completely improvised. Improvisation is strictly trial and error; it either works or it doesn’t. But if it does work it comes from a place that’s timeless and unrestricted by money, genre or popular opinion. Many bands looked into this place and that’s exactly why they’re remembered years later while trends die and are forgotten. What Hhoogg bring back from the ether is a piece of that universe as cold and strange as it is monumental and eternal. The smallest piece can irrevocably change the way you look at music. That void is the canvas on which they painted, and even the brightest and most reassuring colors are distorted and warped beyond imagination. Yet you seem to anticipate where they’re going next if you’re attuned to their sudden impulses. I got that feeling more than once, for example, when listening to the first track and those that came after with their narrative overtones, repetitive bass lines, opiate guitars, frenetic percussion and astral keyboards. Whether the mood is euphonious, pensive, probing, uninhibited or seething, the personalities represented by each instrument piece together to create a whole that towers far above what would have been expected from a psych-rock band. Hhoogg sounds like they can only become more profound with each album they come out with. -Dave Wolff

Yig Narub: Synthesizer
Paul Yu: Guitar
Xtina Porcupine: Bass
Tom the Ninth Universe: Drums

Track list:
1. Ccoossmmooss
2. Rustic Alien Living
3. Journey to the Dying Place
4. Star Wizard, Headless and Awake
5. Eaten on the Frontier
6. Recalled to the Pyramids
7. Infinitely Gone

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