Expert merchants of all things Doom, Red Spektor juggle their signature style with blues, psych and metal on 3.
Release Date: 28th July 2023
Label: Kozmik Artifactz
Format: coloured LP (pre-order from 30.7.23) / digital / CD
Almost three years ago, Red Spektor’s Heart Of The Renewed Sun hit our pages. Three seems to be the lucky number as album #3, also entitled ‘3’ is now upon us.
3 takes us on a trip through the post-pandemic (remember that?) collective mind of a band rooted in classic tropes. Stoner Rock, Heavy Metal and Psychedelic Doom are the prime ingredients, but not exclusively, all wrapped in a dense layer of fuzz and reverb. It’s Dust that kicks off with a crank of the guitar to check we’re good to go; a drum roll heads around the toms and the scene is set for a chugging ‘raise the dead’ assault complete with a squealer of a lead break a couple of minutes in.
Do I get a bit of ZZ/southern state boogie and groove as we shift into a lower gear for Hot Wired? Perhaps they’ve been ‘spektored’? Psychedelic maybe although there’s more evidence for that elsewhere. It’s all suitably organic and beautifully unrefined and unfiltered as the boogie takes a more uptempo direction on Heavy Reign. Great deep fuzz bass growling away on this one and impossible not to find yourself becoming a fully paid-up member of the appreciative head-nodding club.
It’s hard not to imagine parts of Absolution and Progressive Toke as contemporary takes on a funky Hendrix meets Cream hybrid. Especially on hearing some of those flickering guitar noodles in the former before it switches to a behemoth of a heavy riff. Maybe less bluster and indulgence and more groove, especially as Absolution kicks into a late song shift of gear and ups the pace, where the latter gets off on the sort of funky chops that Nile Rogers would be proud to call his own.
The latter part of Aeroplanes that leads into Apple Tree sees the pace and the volume taking a turn for the more relaxed; laid back even. A bluesy solo in Apple Tree emerges to complement the tempo, but for an exercise in how to do Bluesy Doom, look no further than The Baptist. A title that in itself conjures up some sort of ritualistic images while the purposeful tribal pulse and ominous tone evokes a shamanistic vibe. The darkness throws up frenzied bursts although the languid vibe is carried through to Tired. A very subdued stroll through a downtuned ‘Desert Rock’ landscape.
Tired makes way for the finale with Cranberry Blues, a tune that fits straight into some late Sixties reverie and you can imagine the hi-tech (for the time) psychedelic visuals on Top Of The Pops or even Pan’s People getting their dance moves together. Probably given some sort of lava lamp orange effect. It may even be how Prince would have sounded if he were doing his thang in that era.
With “best work yet” noises coming from within the band and new drummer Jonny on board, 3 does the trick. Always up for a blast from Red Spektor, we’d be inclined to nod in approval.
Something a bit different – here’s an early version of Hot Wired, the 2nd track on 3 – Recorded Live Dec 2021