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First Band From Outer Space - We´re Only In It For The Spacerock CD (album) cover

WE´RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE SPACEROCK

First Band From Outer Space

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.59 | 16 ratings

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Joolz
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Take one part Floyd [One Of These Days, Careful With That Axe Eugene], one part Hawkwind [Space Ritual] and one part Metallica [Nothing Else Matters], mix together on a shiny plastic disc, insert into appropriate audio replay device, set volume to max and wait for a grin to appear. It will. For me it is roughly eleven minutes in - just at the point where Sannraijz lifts off into a stellar jam worthy of the great Brock himself .....

We Are Only In It For The Spacerock is the debut from this Swedish three-piece band - at least, they were a three piece when most of this album was recorded [a flautist joined in time to record the final track]. While their line-up cannot be considered unique, it is nonetheless atypical in their chosen field: a core of bass, guitar and drums doing most of the work. Guitar and bass are featured inventively as a twin attack while synths are used to provide Dr Who style noises - bleeps and blarts, a kind of cosmic ambience not unlike the effect achieved by Dik Mik and Del Dettmar in 70s Hawkwind.

From this self-imposed limited palette, the band extract an interesting and varied range of moods while never straying far from a Space Rock template. Much of it occupies the heavier side of the genre, at times edging close to Heavy Metal, uncomfortably so for my taste but others will undoubtedly revel in this aspect of their music. Songs progress, but with an emphasis on gradual transitions rather than complex structures, an ebb and flow of tempo and intensity, forever on the move.

This pattern is ably demonstrated by the title track, effectively a 20 minute slow burning instrumental jam session complete with all the required ingredients [except vocals]. To me, a "20 minute jam" would normally be a recipe for terminal boredom, but these guys maintain my interest throughout with some killer riffs and guitar work, and plenty of variety: from a solid wall of sound to totally ambient, from high energy to serene and laid back.

Overall though, the album is a little patchy and lacking cohesion. Sometimes Going Too Far .... goes, well, a little too far down the Metal road; the acoustic interlude provided by Sannraijz II is a nice idea but is far too long with no progression; while Make Yourself Heard .... has the added benefit of flute and a nice groove: though ultimately failing to deliver by resorting to pointless improvisational noodling, it does at least provide a glimpse of a future direction for the band.

Perhaps it might have benefitted from a stronger hand on the production tiller and a greater attention to details like songwriting, but as a debut this is a good effort, establishing the band's distinct character as a basis for progression. Their second album [now available] does indeed take a step forward, a clear improvement in all areas, especially in using a wider range of sounds than here.

I liked this album enough to go out and buy the follow-up when it became available. If, like me, you are searching for a 21st century version of classic Hawkwind, then this band are worth checking out. This debut is good, but the follow-up is much better ....

Joolz | 3/5 |

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