Cult of Dom Keller were one of the first bands I picked up on when I started writing about music back in 2013. I remember excitedly buying their debut album from the Reverberation Appreciation Society in the States after Cardinal Fuzz had sold out, those being the days when you didn’t have to mortgage your house in order to pay for transatlantic postage.
Since then I’ve followed their progress over a series of albums, some of which I have liked more than others; although I have to say that there is no filler in their oeuvre at all. Given that it seems to be a full time job just to keep up with releases these days, the band’s latest ‘Ascend’ went under the radar somewhat for me when it came out; and it was sold out pretty much immediately. However, Cardinal Fuzz and Little Cloud Records are now doing a re-press… giving me the perfect opportunity to pick it up again and write a few remarks.
What I particularly liked about this album was its freshness… it feels like the band have gone back to basics in many ways… like they are performing in the sort of scuzzy basement that fosters that sort of stripped back us-against-the-world power that is perhaps rare in a band that has been going well over a decade.
Perhaps this is because all the shit that is going on in the world acts as a catalyst for that sort of direction… who knows, but what I can say is that these guys are playing like they fucking mean it… like they are angry… like the don’t give a fuck about giving a fuck.
As for the music itself, Cult of Dom Keller really seem to have found the edge on this one… a hegemony over the fuzz that they deliver, but through a multitude of genre from free jazz through space rock to garage which feels at first like it is just a morass of noise but, as you listen more closely, you can see nuances emerging that give this album its invention and aforementioned freshness.
What ‘Ascend!’ is more than anything, however, intense and forceful it’s like the band have gone into the studio with a million pent-up emotions and just let them drain out through the music… you can feel the visceral energy pouring out of the speakers and straight into your consciousness… I’m almost tempted to write ‘inspiring’ at this point.
All in all this is a massive statement from Cult of Dom Keller, one which cements their position as certainly being a band of relevance to me and surely for all of us who give a fuck.
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