Carlton Melton – Always Even

So there you have it, another fab slab of High Magicke. I’m not sure this band knows how to make a bad record.

http://www.konkurrent.nl http://www.carltonmeltonmusic.com

Incendiary loves Carlton Melton, their music just sits there brooding and supine, like some massive Hairy who’s crashed out on your couch from the previous night’s party. As ever with their LPs we get 4 or 5 tracks, each one lasting as long as a visit to your most unloved relative, but unlike said rellie, a joy to experience. This LP is even more of a stoner odyssey than the last two. It’s softer, more reflective and more spacey. The band are pictured (with cute dog) hanging out in the woods; and given the artwork is figurative rather than purely pastoral (even if it is astro-ethnic spaceman chic), there’s a feeling of revelation abroad; all hinting to a more open, human experience than the burning, bruising mysteries we were presented with in those last 2 records.  

So, what do we get? Well, Slow Wake is JUST THAT, and nothing else; it drifts about for five minutes without giving shape or clue to anything much but maybe we don’t want it to, maybe it’s best left as it is without our interpretation. Keeping On is much more of a grumbling blast and a brilliant one too; built round a very simple riff and a whole houseful of effects, the spirals that are in the track’s DNA forever suck you in and gently pushing you out. Spiderwebs floats about in an eternal waiting room, happy to be horizontal, and playing with our emotions via a lot of pleasantly aimless drifting in a high register. It’s a bit like the stuff Earthling Society did 10 years ago. Sarsen kicks off a bit, keeping a high octane, clear-eyed level of concentration intact for most of its life; the drumming creating an incantatory backdrop to a lot of grinding, metallic mid tones that coalesce to somehow manage to keep a level of suspense. And with those spacey keys, it does get a bit Hawkwind at times I suppose. Never a bad thing. Finally we get The Splurge, which is a sort of sludgy reprise, albeit one that takes 10 minutes to work out its thang.

So there you have it, another fab slab of High Magicke. I’m not sure this band knows how to make a bad record.