It's bloody insistent in its sameness, which, of course, makes it as punk as fuck.
Vibracathedral Orchestra – Wisdom Thunderbolt
On telling a friend about this I was shocked at his over-excited reaction; he's heard that members of the Mighty Sunburned Hand of the Man help out on this release. On hearing this LP that observation makes sense, what with its loose structured wig-outs, tempered by some pretty intense moments of playing. The opener Wisdom Thunderbolt is in essence a slobbering, shambling piece, which changes from being a maudlin groove to being a stamping, shouty thing driven by some tinny acoustic guitar. Next up, A Natural Fact is a weak acoustic riff with some monotone organ notes droning in the background for company. The whole thing is incredibly reminiscent of Terry Reid & John Cale's Church of Anthrax, but never let it be said that that is bad, kids.
Another eight minute monster, Order of the Broad Eraser swims gallantly through a Cluster-esque swamp; scuzzy, tinny electronic noises are order of the day here. Ochre Dust has an oriental and dreamy flavour to its droning (maybe it's those cymbals) which almost sends us off to sleep, but Rainbow Whirlwind stops all indulgence dead in its tracks with a spaced-out twelve minutes that incorporates guitar feedback and a drugged sounding organ. It's bloody insistent in its sameness, which, of course, makes it as punk as fuck.
But beware; just as your head thinks it's going to melt with the sheer cussed never-ending-ness of Rainbow, Sway Sage knocks you completely off your feet with its swirling noise, beginning as it does with a Barrett-esque riff then transcending into a noise not heard outside of a meat-processing plant. As if all that wasn't enough, What!!! sells you another dummy with its opening couple of minutes, which sound for all the world like a Tibetan market procession. It does settle down to becoming an Amon Duul2 style wig out, but it's still bonkers.
It's brilliant. Buy it.
Words: Richard Foster.