In your fuckin’ face…that’s what this album is from the very first bar as the feedback from opener ‘TD’ pours fluidly from the speakers, the bass pulsates and the fuzzed up guitar kicks in. If that wasn’t enough to pin you back to the wall you are harangued by the sort of vocals which leave you in no doubt that Henge mean business.
This is 2016, its mean out there and we need music like this to help us vent…to help is rail against all the shit that is going on. ‘Feast’, if anything, intensifies these feelings. It’s not fast, but It’s deep and mean, but with a real sense of melancholy mixed in. This isn’t just psychedelic noise rock…there’s more going on here as, right on cue, ‘Time Outside’ demonstrates. With it’s slower almost lilting tempo this is a track that while not being utterly complex in the wider scheme of things, nevertheless provides a nuanced foreboding as a single riff becomes more an more prevalent and finally breaks out into a solo like a Rottweiler let off the leash.
The mood of despondent catharsis continues with ‘Metal Petal’ which is possibly the most brain melting track on the album. This is fuzz at its most fried as huge slabs of noise hit you with the speed and impact of an advancing glacier, massive tectonic plates of wrath reigning down clearing all before it…then the aftermath with snakes of live electric cables buzzing about as the track disintegrates towards its inevitable conclusion.
Any hope of a respite is immediately dashed by the title of the next track ‘Wet Grave’. Starting relatively lightly this soon, as the title might suggest, slips into a pit of mortality and a reprise of the plaintiff vocals animalistically hammering away at our souls to the extent that the bridge comes as quite a relief…although the hunt is soon on again as the foreboding whistling finishes us off for good.
As if triumphant; last up is ‘King’, released last year as a single. The whiff of vindication fills the air as the anger and rage seeps out of every pore of this music. It’s a great end to an album that is quite a ride. It’s not an easy listen from this London-based four piece, anything worthwhile rarely is, but it is very rewarding. Here Henge have taken acid-psychedelic-noise-sludge-punk (whatever) rock by the gullet and stuffed its own take on it squarely back down its throat. Be very scared!
Henge are: Loz Chalk, Jamie Partridge, Andrew Mealor, Gabriel Stones
The album is released on the wonderful God Unknown Records on January 18th, further details here.