Void Cruiser – ‘Wayfarer’

Wayfarer is an album detailing the sonic voyage of the Void Cruiser crew in the Andromeda Galaxy, including an unanticipated New World expedition.

A Day On Which No Man Was Born – Teasing intro, moving gradually into life, with a skilled instrumental set and an unmistakable echo of Judas Priest’s Nightcrawler’s closing fade-out, at the outset. Taking its time, with a visually evocative audio scene, of Arctic landscapes, resembling the cover art, the all too brief vocals we hear just before the end, consist of radio communications, of the sort you’d associate with vehicular instructions, from a Captain to a transport crew. An acquired, if somewhat perplexing progression, but one thing stands out and that’s the intrigue factor, at the beginning. If nothing else, they’ve got that nailed.

I Didn’t Lie, But I Know Now That I Should Have – A clearly more typical, rockier intro, providing instant bluesy grooves, through a steady beat and laid-back vocals, with a nostalgic 90s thread running through them. Imagine a bluesy, more accomplished Oasis, with a wintry, bleaker backdrop and you’re there. Whilst the production values could do with some touching up, you can’t knock the catchy flavour or the musicality of the sound. A pulsating end, with the sound effects of someone trudging through the snow in their snowshoes. It may be lacking excitement, but it’s never short on imagination.

As We Speak – A crunchier, cracklier start, with clearer psychedelic vibes. It moves along, at a mid-paced speed and attempts to buzz things up a bit, which is partially successful, yet it mostly retains that downbeat tone and feel, creating a trance downer effect – the thing that overpowers it most.

Madonnas and Whores – Something of a Stoner emphasis here, yet the initial melody takes me back again, to Oasis’s ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Star’. That, though, is before the Nick Cave-esque doom imprint takes over, infusing it with sullen gloom. Again, there’s undeniable song-craft present within it, but it’s just overtaken by a deep and abiding sense of misery. Oh, there’s the ship’s Captain relaying instructions to the crew again and once more, the snow-walker takes their place, as their gravel encrusted footsteps end the track.

Seven Years Late – So this time, the snowy footsteps intro, accompanied by the sound of the heavy breathing of either the individual themselves, or the stalker following them. If it’s the latter, I’d say their number’s probably up. The music enters at this point, sprawling out on the ground and loosely throwing down its dazed, sonic sounds and vibrations. The vocals are obscured, to a point, by the backing instrumentals and just need to come forward and show themselves.

All Over Nowhere – Oh now come on, those snow shoes are getting a bit too persistently repetitive now. Good job the vocals follow them closely, with a stronger drum presence and a faster rhythm. (Even if said sections are seeming almost as repetitive as those ubiquitous snow shoe sounds). Please, please, just vary the intros and outros a tad and give us some respite from those damned snow boots.

Maailman Kallein Kaupunki – Aha! We have a delightfully obtuse change of direction, providing that much-needed relief, at last….. but if you’re expecting it to be any different from, or cheerier than the previous morosity, then I’m afraid I must disappoint you. I can now feel my mood dropping, in time with the music. It may work for those deep in the throes of a downer inducing acid trip, who no longer care, but otherwise, I’d steer clear or you may be tempted to let the closing avalanche fall on you and bury you.

Overall – It’s few redeeming features are its inherent musicianship, sound-alike capacity and imaginary aspects, evoking tantalising glimpses into other audio-visual worlds and landscapes. Otherwise, it’s too much effort, for too little reward and brings to mind the nullity of existence, provoking an overwhelming sense of life depleting mood lowering.

5/10 *****

For fans of generic space, trance and psychedelic rock.

 

Out now on Argonauta Records.

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