Bloody Heck: Ceramic Hobs are back with a behemoth of a record: and I can only say that I absolutely love it. I should say at this stage of my review that the band has a certain worldview that will not be to everybody’s taste, but there’s no denying their determination in giving their chaos a structured, recognizable sonic map. In non-twat speak, there’s only one Ceramic Hobs.
I will always think there’s something utterly compelling about their fractious, chaotic blend of psychedelia and slobbed-out punk. Right from the off, the listener is confronted with a growling, thick stew of ludicrously simple bass and guitar runs, a veritable cacophony of samples and an attitude that is part parochial, provincial screaming and part untapped wisdom. It’s reminiscent of the sort of argument you get in Clayton le Moors chippy with a drunk fucker. Repeat and repeat again, stay on the point, because there isn’t another one. But always straight to the point. Geddit? Opening track Irish Jew repeats “I’m An Irish Jew/What’s It To You?” for over three minutes. Got it?
The psychedelia takes over from that point. He Thinks He Can Hear Voices is a weird drawl dredged up from some pit of musical slurry. A ludicrous radio phone in samples only exacerbates the surrealistic, removed nature of the song. But this is what this LP is about: mental titles, strange mélanges of humour and tripped out nonsense. Toto In Africa sounds exactly like what I would like Toto to be subjected to for their miserable hit song. There’s even a snatch of early Quo in there to round it off. Colacurcio is a great mantra, rich electronic textures battle it out with a choir of sampled voices. (I kept thinking of Todd Browning whilst listening to this, which may not be a good thing…) On another tack entirely, Fixated Threat Assessment Centre and Miley Backmask are truly the sound of disorganization: whether you see them as a cathartic exercise, a very funny rant or something depressing is, again, down to you. And Deepest Shasta can fuck your head a bit, mainly through its refusal to stop and give up. (I kept thinking of Ronnie Laing at whilst listening to these tracks, which may not be a good thing…)
Powerful, (can you take on the final, and title track? It's not an easy listen at all): maybe visionary and independent; that’s this band for you. But whether you’d want to fully experience Ceramic Hobs’ vision, laying your head on their surrealistic pillow, is another matter entirely.