Population IV is the Portsmouth band’s latest album and it’s certainly a textured and flowing listening experience. From the airy vocals of The Sorcerers to the easy rhythm of Hothouse, the album takes you on a fuzzy and infectious trip through the hills and valleys of wah wahs and deep riffage.
I like my music to conjure images in my mind and to that end, Population IV doesn’t disappoint. There were two tracks that did this especially well. Chapel Perilous starts with a laid back and light melody that eases you into a pleasing rhythm before turning heavy as hell around the midpoint. If there was ever a soundtrack for a weary traveller climbing to a mountaintop temple only to find it has been overrun with demons, this is it. The other track I wanted to mention is Hothouse, the almost sun-infused riffs igniting the images of a long desert highway and a roaring biker riding into the sunset, relaxed and cruising before gunning the bike to even greater speed as the track tempo ramps up towards the end.
All of the tracks are enjoyable, expansive and a great accompaniment to whatever you might be up to, infusing the air with the psychic feelings of flow, ease and groove. They’re also a great listen as the main focal point of your attention; the textures and flourishes in the rhythms and guitar enough to hook your mind like a floundering fish and still its motion as it dangles on each note.
The band formed in Portsmouth in 2002 and consists of Thomas Bone, Steve Hanby, Ryan “Howitzer” Howarth and Richie Troughton. They have a number of gigs coming up in the next few months: March 8th at the Shacklewell Arms, London, and on May 2nd at the Kraak Gallery, Manchester. Go and see them if you can, you owe it to yourself!
You can hear Population IV on the band’s BandCamp page here.