Album Review: Atmospheric Hangover by Wasted Cathedral

There’s a lot of bollocks talked about music. What’s cool and what isn’t… what you should be listening to and what’s essentially regarded as being crap. Sometimes you have to drag some confidence from inside yourself to say ‘fuck it, I think this is good’ against what might be a cascade of derision.

I have been fortunate to have found a few little oases in the internet where such views are seldom proffered. Clearings where eclecticism rules the roost, and we can get on with appreciating music for what it is… not what it isn’t.

One inhabitant of such a niche is Christopher Laramee, whose work regular readers will know from such luminaries as Shooting Guns, The Switching Yard, and The Radiation Flowers. Anyone who is aware these bands will know the massive variety of music that they collectively put out, a breadth that is respectively reflected and, in some ways, extended by this collection of songs by Laramee’s in the guise of his solo project Wasted Cathedral; through which he has already put out a number of quite different releases.

‘Mean Street Dub’ is an absolute monster of funked up disco magnificence with its massive beats banging out the sort of club anthem that would not only fill a dance floor but whose luxurious reverberations suggest something rather hedonistic might well be on the cards.

By contrast ‘Revenge on the Highway’ is a more chilled out number, a comedown after the the heady immoderation of the previous track… this is to crash onto a beanbag and stare into the middle distance sort of track. Now I don’t know what your particular indulgence may be but I can imagine sitting with a tumbler of malt whisky contemplating life as the panoramic drones and beats catalyse my psyche and bring me to some sort of cognitive climax.

…and then there is ‘Ashtray of Nexus’, and you’re suddenly in the realm of ‘what the fuck?’. At first this doesn’t seem so much like music but an all out assault as a wall of feedback hits you squarely in there solar plexus and keeps on pummelling away for a good for the best part of five minutes before it drops out and you’re in some sort of weird dreamworld as the REM sleep turns to a lighter more soothing moment as the drones ease their way through a surreal landscape, with Laramee’s acoustic guitar acting as a guide through it.

Well that was side one, which seemed like a night out on its own… and on to side two, which comprises one single twenty minute track, ‘Winnipeg Noir’. From the opening bars you get the feeling that this is going to be something cinematic… the soundtrack to something dramatic as the loops and drones gradually build… you can only do one thing ZONE. THE. FUCK. OUT!

Seriously this is one of those extended mediations that just leads you deeper and deeper into your own head acting like some sort of sonic soma siren as it takes your consciousness and draws it in… it powers your innerspace ship of perception and takes you where you need to go.

This album is the sonic equivalent of taking a load of uppers, and then tempering the comedown with just the right number of relaxants. The result is forty minutes of high quality life from the opening bars of disco heaven to the closing moments of zoned out paradise. In between you’re not so much taken on a journey as cajoled into a series of soundscapes each of which seem to help you to go with your own flow… and that for me is a total result.

‘Atmospheric Hangover’ is available to pre-order now at Cardinal Fuzz here, and in Canada direct from the artist.



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