The Physics House Band
Horizons / Rapture
Blood and Biscuits
15 April 2013
by Ollie Connors
As I’m sure a lot of you out there were pretty bummed out earlier this year when The Mars Volta called it a day. While they never reached any kind of consistency or accessibility through their 12-year lifespan, they were always able to produce jaw-dropping moments, and the first two full-lengths are still utterly astonishing pieces of music. It’s with extremely apt timing, then, that Brighton trio The Physics House Band bring out their debut EP, Horizons / Rapture, as this couldn’t sound anymore like The Mars Volta if the cover was wearing an afro wig.
Right from the word go, this gratuitously rips off Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s post-At The Drive-In vanity project; ‘Obelisk Monolith’, with its imposing atmosphere building and releasing tension, frantic drumming with off-kilter time signature and urgent guitar/keyboard stabs, sounds like it could have come from any time and place of the Texans’ career. All that’s different is that this is purely instrumental – if you had someone wailing semi-coherent oblique gibberish over the top, the two would be utterly inseperable. ‘Abraxical Solapse’ (which even sounds like something TMV would call a song) begins with the sort of technical riff The Fall Of Troy would be proud of, but then turns into the sort of “Morricone fired through the rings of Saturn” style you would easily find on either of the aforementioned initial releases, De-Loused In The Comatorium and Frances The Mute.
If it wasn’t enough that this record is unashamedly aping their heroes it’s also extraordinarly overindulged like them too. ‘Hollow Mountain’, little more than a pretty interlude, is stretched beyond its welcome for nearly 4 minutes, and ‘Tetratology’, while not quite reaching the “spiralling out of all control” level of the 33-minute ‘Cassandra Gemini’, doesn’t have the gas to push through its 6:26 timespan, especially as we’ve simply heard it all before.
Watch the video for ‘Abraxical Solapse’ by The Physics House Band:
Closer ‘Titan’ wildly changes tack, but only to rip-off different acts; this time, it’s a blend of the dense and complex math rock of Three Trapped Tigers and Battles which is picked for forgery . To be fair, this is the best and most interesting track present, purely for putting an interesting twist on that style, and to see them explore this side in subsequent releases would retain future interest. The Physics House Band are obviously an immensely talented band, particularly their phenomenal drummer, they just need the confidence to move away from hiding beneath the shadows of luminaries and step out on their own.
Sounds Like: Frail syrup dripping off his lap-danced lapel
Standout Tracks: Abraxical Solapse, Titan