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The Physics House Band

Post Rock/Math rock

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The Physics House Band Mercury Fountain album cover
3.96 | 14 ratings | 2 reviews | 36% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Mobius Strip (3:08)
2. Calypso (3:03)
3. Holy Caves (2:56)
4. Surrogate Head (4:43)
5. A Thousand Small Spaces (3:14)
6. Obidant (2:26)
7. Impolex (3:03)
8. The Astral Wave (3:49)
9. Mobius Strip II (2:48)

Total Time 29:10

Line-up / Musicians

- Adam Hutchison / bass, electric guitar, synthesizers, organ, vibraphone, keyboards, piano, MIDI programming
- Samuel Organ / electric & acoustic guitars, piano, keyboards, organ, synthesizers
- Dave Morgan / drums

- Raven Bush / violin (6,8)
- Biscuit / flute (7)
- Willy G / tenor & soprano saxophones (8,9)

Releases information

CD Small Pond Records - 1801046X (2017, United Kingdom)
LP Small Pond Records - 1800673X (2017, United Kingdom)
*LP Pressed Black or Translucent Red.

Thanks to tapfret for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy THE PHYSICS HOUSE BAND Mercury Fountain Music

THE PHYSICS HOUSE BAND Mercury Fountain ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

THE PHYSICS HOUSE BAND Mercury Fountain reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tapfret
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars One of my favorite discoveries from the first half of 2017 is a trio from Channel Coast country in the UK, The Physics House Band. Having been floated to their Bandcamp page by links to recommendations of suggestions in a chain that went well beyond 6 degrees of separation, I took one look at the name and thought for sure I had landed on some thumpy techno/rave act that would send me running for the hills. Instead I was treated to their amazing preceding EP Horizons/Rapture. This year's offering is more of the same with a huge dose of maturation.

Mercury Fountain is largely advertised as a post/math experimental album. As a core idea it seems to fit with the sub-genre's conventions, an instrumental trio consisting of multi-instrumentalists. But the "experimental" tag is troublesome. Not because there is any lacking sense of adventure, quite the contrary. More because of the implication of the word experimental as mutually exclusive to deliberate intent. The Physics House Band are nowhere near floundering in their mission. So emphatic is their intent that when I originally looked at the total album time, 29 paltry minutes, I thought their was no way this was going to be enough, being only 2 minutes into the already enjoyable experience. But this is a musical experience that seems to distort time. A bizarre ride through what feels conventional at any given moment. One of those rare albums that takes the listeners through a series of changes with no recognizable unifying theme, that manages to present itself as a single cohesive piece.

Instrument wise the core is a heavy hitting odd-time bass (frequently distorted) and drum groove with frequent breaks of eclectic keyboard use. Everything from overdriven Rhodes sounds to ARP sounding sequences, Moog portamentos, and what is either an old Mellotron with stretched out tapes or a really good sample of one, the keys create a fantastic layer of textures. Guitars tend to be loud but overdriven rather than fully distorted. Lots of reverb on the solos which tend to not have a need for speed. Unlike the previous release the band employs guest musicians for added violin, flute and sax for the closing sections of the album. The package is complete, simultaneously hard and ethereally psychedelic. Tight but raw and energetic.

The Physics House Band engage in a genre that can easily become stale. They are in no danger of that with Mercury Fountain. Easily one of my favorite albums of the year and one I anticipate listening to for a long time. Quickly an essential part of my collection and highly recommended 4.5 stars.

Review by DangHeck
4 stars 4 years passed between their 2013 debut, Horizons / Rapture, and this, their sophomore release ('sophomore' feeling less and less appropriate, given the amount of time gone and their clear, shining ability). The Physics House Band is a post-Math Rock band with Psychedelic and electronic affectations. Here, Raven Bush of Syd Arthur (and Kate Bush's nephew!) is a feature on two tracks! Couldn't not mention that! I recall feeling this album had nearly passed me by when it had first come out. All in good timing.

"Mobius Strip" starts off frankly very classic somehow. The low, fuzzy arpeggio from the guitar gives way to a bright, almost ambient, progressive electronic synth. It is not until the approach to the end that we realize we are indeed in the 21st century. Great intro. All falls away to the sounds of bells and spacy strings to the sudden start of "Calypso", rushed and tense. Our drummer, Dave Morgan, is an immediate highlight here, playing both groovy and quick. The sort of bells-like keys continue over layers and layers of guitar and synth. I trust this track will very much appeal to the average Prog fan, but actually very seriously for fans of both the sort of second-wave of Prog in the late-70s as well as the New Proggers of the '00s.

All is strung so tightly and innately together, as "Calypso" falls away to nothing, but a single mellotronny string, like a warbling, alien cello opens up the lower "Holy Caves". Truly painting a setting before our mind's eye, no? This cello-esque note continues on, not in solitude, but with the light clanging of symbols and the steady rhythm of the bass's main and only riff. Midway through it's unveiled a more clearly psychedelic landscape, with the drums now rolling and the guitar shimmering softly alongside the keys. Super classic... It truly felt like interlude, and it rolls right into the boisterous "Surrogate Head"! Makes you wonder how this all was written, as from track to track they don't miss a beat. The bass and the drums roll alongside one another and the guitar clangs and the keys and organ roars. There's something innately classic in this too, drums aside. The wild, slinky bass very easily could have been performed by the likes of Chris Squire; as I already mentioned, the organ is big and spacious, reminiscent of Progging's Past, for sure.

Another longer-form interlude is the soft, ambient "A Thousand Small Spaces" (fitting title). I can't help it, but Jean Michel Jarre, indeed, comes to mind. The very end sees the track open up to the huge, though wholly surprising dissonance of the next, "Obidant". Aren't I wide-eyed and bushy-tailed? Awesome main riff here, but also some stellar, clearly composed, melodic soloing throughout as well, through the builds and swells and the glimmering of chiptune synths. At just 2 and a half minutes, this is anactive track haha. Highly progressive, highly ambitious. I wasn't looking and here I am in a new track altogether! "Impolex" is just as boisterous, though, if you can make sense of it, laid back, driven by those same glimmering synths, but also by incessant rhythm from the drums and the bass, a wild drone, if there was one. This features flute from an artist that goes by... Biscuit! haha. Very cool. Really brings us all around, doesn't it. Not unlike a Canterbury connection.

Once again, the barrage ceases, but to something far more peaceable than before, "The Astral Wave", with bright acoustic guitar and piano running juxtaposed to the ethereal. Then, at the midpoint, we get a very classic sort of guitar solo over rolling drums and the frisson-inducing synths, building immediately to a sweet groove. We're locked in. And break! SAX SOLO! haha. Very fun track. And naturally, we slide right into "Mobius Strip II". Seriously, what an adventure this album is. Check it.

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