Pablo’s Choice – Record Of the Week – 30/03/2018 – Anthroprophh – Omegaville
30th March 2018
In their 20-year history, Rocket Recordings have orbited between twin planets; Fuzz and Wah and fewer guitarists have pioneered this more than Paul Allen, who not only appeared on the very first Rocket 7” with The Heads, but who as the front of Anthroprophh leads the forefront of exploration into the garage rock, filth laden frontiers.
We open with ‘2029’ which wastes no time in displaying its traditional, heavy rock roots with plenty of pleasing guitar slides overlaid with lashings of noise. The short track gives way quickly to lead track ‘Dead Inside’, another quick one two punch with its manic countenance and static tendencies. ‘Housing Act 1980’ begins in a similar vein, with its added sample vocals draws parallel with some of the early Crazy World of Arthur Brown offerings, before descending into heavily punctuated chaos. ‘Oakmoll’ is an instantly more melodic and more accessible piece with its remote sounding vocals, more obvious guitar riffs and motorik drum beat. 8/10 Backseat Mafia
Anthroprophh’s new album on Rocket Recordings is a glorious raging missive on injustice, disorientation and our looming dystopia
We enter the world of Omegaville at breakneck speed. This massive, conceptual double album does not begin with any grand overture or introduction – Anthroprophh require no scene setting. Led by the titanic guitar force of Paul Allen, this fierce vision of pressurised dystopia begins with the gut-churning salvo of ‘2023’, a two-minute barrage of manic fuzz, like a hypercharged ‘Neat Neat Neat’. It duly blasts onwards through the monstrous ‘Dead Inside’ – similarly rabid and not much longer – then again, again and again through the spinning ‘Housing Act 1980’, then the rabid grit of ‘Oakmoll’. There is no pause, no time to gather your senses, just layer after layer of pummelling and freewheeling guitars – hectic squalls caterwauling over churning riffs, the momentum constantly searing upwards. The Quietus
In 1998 Rocket Recordings put out their first release – a split single by The Heads and Lilydamwhite. Twenty years later one member from each band (guitarist Paul Allen and bassist Gareth Turner respectively) are still with Rocket. Their band (also featuring Turner’s partner from Big Naturals. drummer Jesse Webb) are called Anthroprophh. Omegaville is their third record on Rocket. With this album Allen is looking at Can’s Tago Mago and attempting to emulate the mixture of short, tight tracks and sprawling weird-outs.
Omegaville absolutely explodes out of the blocks with 2029. Under two-minutes of Wah-wah, shredding and Ladbroke Grove Hippie-Punk (Hawkwind, Pink Fairies, etc.). Dead Inside isn’t much longer and is equally explosive. At this point I think the Album of the Year debate is all over. Ferocious Fuzz/Wah Insanity is very much my heartland. All three players are super-fit and at the top of their game. Housing Act 1980 (‘right to buy’) is closer to Crass until Allen and Turner crank out a huge riff and head off in the direction of the Japanese Psychedelic Speed Freaks (High Rise, etc. ). Oakmoll is slower, growlier and more evil. So far, each track has been longer than the previous track. Anthroprophh are super-tight on this, moving effortlessly through the various sections of the track. The excellently-named Sod (if it isn’t already, it should be the name of a Crust-Punk band) follows. The pace is still relentless. The general sound is somewhere between Space Ritual and Superfuzz Bigmuff. There is a huge solo from Allen and, believe me, you want Allen to solo hugely. I normally despise lead guitar but there are exceptions and I don’t know that there’s anyone as ferociously out-there as Allen at the moment. People won’t like this, but when I read about the MC5 and the Pink Fairies, I expected them to sound like this. When they didn’t, I was disappointed and confused. Soundblab