Bong / Pyramidion - Untitled (4 stars)

Beautifully executed split from the yin and yang of contemporary psychedelic rock

Bong / Pyramidion - Untitled

(At War With False Noise)

Set controls for the heart of the Tyrant Sun, courtesy of Newcastle’s high lords of psychedelic sludge Bong and Glasgow/Edinburgh’s spry, mesmerising space-rock ensemble Pyramidion. Distinctly different in approach and aesthetic, these two bands complement each other perfectly, having played together in the past. It is therefore only right and serendipitous that they merge once more on this superb vinyl-only mind meltdown from Glasgow underground overlords At War With False Noise.

Bong’s 20-minute contribution clearly outlines why they alighted upon that name. Over a sloth-hurdling trudge, grounded by David Terry’s liquid-gravel bass drone, they meander around various Eastern modes and quasi-mystic ambiences. There’s a dramatic shift halfway, when a barbed guitar swells and obliterates everything in earshot. As the volume builds, the pace slows, the melodic elements are vaporised and the whole thing becomes a swirling, cataclysmically heavy, deliriously intoxicating brew. Simultaneously punishing and sensuous, it’s impossible to listen to this and remain usefully upright.

The flipside offers another 20-minute jam, but where Bong are oppressive and earthbound, Pyramidion convey a sense of freedom, the excitement of purpose, the joy of infinite possibility. Their contribution kicks off with choppy guitars and a fluid 6/8 Amon Düül beat, before spiralling into vividly kaleidoscopic interlocking patterns. The bass and drums provide a rhythmic and tonal core above which Andreas Jonsson and Tuukka Asplund’s shimmering guitars weave around in a beautiful display of airborne interaction.

Pyramidion certainly invoke their 60s/70s forefathers here, but this is no slick, neutered homage. There’s a real savage bite to the dogged repetition, a spiky, awkward aspect to the guitars, a maniacal feel to the intermittent vocals. A beautifully executed split from the yin and yang of contemporary psychedelic rock.

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