The more I listen to music the harder it is for me to feel blown away by a new band or album, not just as a music critic but as a music fan. I’m always searching, though, for that elusive discovery of aural magic that sweeps me off my feet and transports me to places I never even knew existed; that incredible moment when previously unimaginable sounds cause my pulse to race and electric shivers to run down the length of my spine. The Physics House Band, quite to my surprise and delight, have done just that.
Their sound is a difficult one to pin down, but I’ll try my best. Plucking the finest elements of 70s prog-rock and blending them with modern indie and post-rock sensibilities, they have created an astoundingly compelling genre all of their own: it’s psychedelic and progressive, rock and jazz, luxurious and experimental, discordant and harmonious, sprawling yet tightly-executed. All at the same time. It’s breathtaking.
ObeliskMonolith beings powerfully, and carries on in deliriously bombastic fashion, before single Abraxical Solapse kicks in with gloriously noodly guitars. Each of the opening songs is inventive with their melodies, full of complex mathematical rhythms that weave their way in and around the central themes, each layer adding something new and interesting to the music.
The serene Hollow Mountain follows, predominantly keyboard-led, as a mid-EP reprieve from the Brighton trio’s sheer creative force. Next, Teratology combines this delicateness with the complexities of the preceding tracks, creating a wonderful juxtaposition between the two sides of the band. Stark piano chords are then scattered throughout sparse track The Spectral Beyond, before closer Titan erupts in a tremendous explosion of synthesisers, guitars and drums.
The Physics House Band play prog music for the indie generation, and they play it very well indeed. Horizons/Rapture is an exceptional debut and heralds, I hope, even greater things to come.
Horizons/Rapture by The Physics House Band is out on Blood & Biscuits/Pink Mist on the 15th of April 2013.