L'appel Du Vide by Space Coke
First things first, let’s get to the bottom of it right now… is there coke in space? According to Cheech and Chong, there certainly is. But, how could we ever know for real? Maybe, just maybe, a psychedelic rock/metal band from South Carolina has the answer. Lo and behold, Space Coke. If actual alien stimulants are a mere thing of fantasy, so be it. But capitalized Space Coke, the band, is the closest we’re going to get. And we all should be more than ok with that. because they rock.
Perhaps the mystery comes from their mantra, “If the amps don’t smoke, it ain’t Space Coke.” Summoning the metaphorical image of a rocket ship made from Orange Amp equipment, cranking the Band of Gypsys, and smoking out the atmosphere with a lethal combo of burning magma-grade rocket fuel and burning of the devil’s lettuce; blasting into the ever lurking depths of outer space. Hopefully to meet an alien leader and give him the first couple Sabbath albums to strengthen the metal brotherhood within the universe. But, being as they’re Space Coke, they’d probably just get high with said extraterrestrial dictator and jam with him. Because, they’re Space Coke. That, in essence, is what makes their album L'appel Du Vide so special. It is utterly unique, intriguing, groovy and sexy, violent and thrilling, and you don’t even have to be stoned to the gills to appreciate it.
The (translated to English for us meatheads) Call Of The Void opens up and runs rampant with dark and obscure horror film samples, mind-melting riffery, heavy psychedelic grooves, fuzz, blood, doom, gloom, sex, drugs, and rock ’n roll. The opening riff of the title track itself is enough to catch your attention and drag you into the void for the remainder of the record; where you laugh, cry, and smoke, and headbang your way to eternal glory. By the end of opening track it becomes quite clear that Space Coke are not just another dime-a-dozen psychedelic rock band… aka dudes that tried acid a few times and decided to pick up a guitar; which is what most them sound like if you ask me. NOT our fellow comrades in Space Coke, though. Space Coke KNOW WHAT’S UP, as these dudes prove they know write a killer rock tune or 6, only spiced up with a little atmospheric psychedelia for good measure. Listen in awe and wonder as Space Coke warp their way through void-spinning tempo changes full of grossly distorted and thick bass grooves, to dance worthy upbeat percussion and razor sharp riffs, to a little cosmic punk rock assault; especially on the ripper of a track, “Corpsewood Manor.”
Space Coke display killer musicianship not only in their ability to deliver interestingly arranged and composed tunes, but arrange and present the entire album as well. Strategically implemented eerie spoken word from more movie samples, organ tones, goosebump-inducing guitar and jazzy percussion work on the “Interlude”, as well as throughout the whole album, are used to keep the listener on their toes through this journey to Space Coke Mountain (tm). These themes are very much imbedded in this album, but every song uses them differently. Every track on the record is very independent of one another, especially the very awesomely chosen two cover songs, but as an album they flow together exceptionally well. The combination of the master songwriting and riff work from guitar/vocals captain Reno Gooch, the killer production and sound they’ve achieved on this record through their various means of extraterrestrial pedals and amplification equipment, and just pure desire to polarize the planet with their rock ’n roll. Nevertheless, it sounds better than most “psych rock” records I’ve heard in recent history.
Every instrument get’s the opportunity to shine through; wether it is the rapid and thunderous bass in “Kali Ma”, the powerful fuzzed out riff of fire on “Lucid Dream”, the precise and frantic precision on “Corpsewood Manor”, to the dark vocal work on their cover of “Venus In Furs” to the hauntingly beautiful guest vocal work on their cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Evil.” Seriously, they knock it straight out of the Earth’s realm on with this one… Probably because they’re using that performance enhancing Space Coke… either way, there could not conceivably be a better way to end this record than with their rendition of Evil. Interesting and some would say questionable choice, but they kill it, as you would hope to expect by the conclusion of the album. Achieving a sound thats incredible unique and intriguing while simuletionuesly wearing their influences on their sleeve, especially through two cover songs, is a satisfying feeling while listening to this band. This Space Coke is cut with a little Henrdix, Sabbath, Funkadelic, Sleep, and even some Motorhead are channeled through the void and make this a great listening experience. Sounding as if their UFO crash-landed somewhere between Black Sabbath’s Vol. 4 and early Pink Floyd, Space Coke rightfully establish their dominance by planting their flag amongst the psychedelic rock soil of Earth. Especially this being their first true full-length record, its all the more impressive and makes me look forward to the future for Space Coke. Although they may be influenced by it, they don’t blow.
Gym rating: 4/5
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