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White Hills – Frying On This Rock

Thrill Jockey

Let’s talk about SPACE, baby, let’s talk about you and me. As Salt’n’Pepa didn’t actually sing, but should have done. Let’s talk about all the BIG things and the LOUD things. Yeah. And like that.

Space is many things to many people. To Lovecraft, for example, it was a constant source of terror. But then, so were most things. Poor guy. To Douglas Adams, it was full of all manner of potential wonder, but its chief characteristic was that it was HUGE. To Hawkwind and Michael Moorcock, it’s too many things to list here (at least without essentially just plagiarising), but we’ll go with DEEP. And to Sun Ra, it was the plaice. Though that may have just been hallucinations brought on by some dodgy fish. But then, the same could be said for Lovecraft. (Note to self – this seems weird? Are you SURE? I mean, it would mean all the stuff about Elder Cods would make a lot more sense, but still… fuck it, let’s just talk about the album).

White Hills know all about space. Well, probably as much as man CAN know. Definitely more than man SHOULD know. Whereas someone like SunnO))) will basically SOUND like space, White Hills appear to be IN space. And they’re not doing any of that wussy Spiritualized “floating in space”; fuck it, they wouldn’t even call you “ladies and gentlemen”. No, White Hills are more like “Motherfuckers, we’re just being really fucked with some awesome robots and cool shit in space like it ain’t no thing”. By the time you hit the second track, “Robot Stomp,” you are essentially having the living shit kicked out of you by whatever giant stompy robot was summoned during Hawkwind’s famous Space Ritual.

It’s actually hard to write this without just going DER-DER-DER-DER-DER-DER-DER-DER DOMP DOMP DOMP DOMP. It’s invading my brain. Must… remain… alert… must… send.. message… back… to… Freq… about… White… Hills… album…


Whoah. OK, I’ve managed to make it back to the command module. From here I can see that White Hills are now… oh my God, this is awesome… they’re actually terraforming that fucking moon over there with controlled bursts of concentrated Stooges. How are they gonna collect all the bits, I wonder – holy shit! They’ve got a wah-wah tractor beam! All the fragments are getting carried back on a wave of soaring guitar solo and recycled as bass! This is incredible. “You Dream You See,” I think it’s called.

It’s like Acid Mothers Temple with an attention span – the nightmare scenario for the continued existence of that moon. WHOAH, there it goes!

(I’m totally doing that Star Trek thing where everyone just shakes BECAUSE AWESOME SPACE STUFF, by the way. Just to keep you in the picture about what’s going on here. In case I don’t make it back).

Ooh, halfway through “Song Of Everything,” and there’s some calm… and the universe sings a song of everything, apparently… Sun Ra is DEFINITELY somewhere aboard the ship at this point. Which is a little unfair, because he knows his way round better than I do… (It’s OK, it also means I can get directions to the bar later on).

Oooh… engines kicking back in… where are we going NOW??? WHOAH! We’re now actually INSIDE THE ROCK. INSIDE THE METAL. Given that this was originally a riff-mining mission, this is a very good thing. And a jump – fuck! Now we are in the deepest part of space ever. It’s the point that Chrome Hoof would call [post=chrome-hoof-crush-depth text=”Crush Depth”], and Swans would call The Mouth Of Infinity.

And they’re both here, here at the event horizon with us. This is amazing – you can see Atlantis from here, which is certainly impressing Sun Ra, who’s banging his head like a motherfucker. He’s totally gonna help us get home. Apparently we’re in the part of space called “I Write A Thousand Letters (Pulp On Bone),” and Hawkwind used to hang out here, back when Lemmy was manning the blast cannon. If this is space, then Mr Adams was definitely right – it’s BIG. It sounds simultaneously like a Swans intro and crescendo, but the kind that would invite Spacemen 3 and/or Loop to play support to.

Wow. They’re touching the void, as it were. But not inappropriately. There are still riffs to be mined, even this far into the white-hot core of everything.

And now we’re out. We’re home. That was certainly one fuck of a trip.

Right. Where was I? Oh yeah, I was supposed to be reviewing that White Hills album. Shit, I haven’t really left myself much time to do that.

Reckon I could get away with just saying it’s fucking amazing???

-Deuteronemu 90210 powered by WRITTEN? KITTEN!-

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