The follow-up to previous album, ‘The Horse & Other Weird Tales’, ‘Vertigo’ may be seemingly simpler-titled but it is certainly not a simple rock record. This eight-track curio from the Finnish psych rock outfit is one of those rare albums that comprises solely of deep cuts, yet is strangely essential and vibrant.
The band’s previous brand of twin-guitar-led metal has mutated into organ-drenched heavy psych oddity rock that feels almost as old and certainly as ominous as the hooded figure that listeners will surely see in the corners of their eyes when listening to this audio excursion into ghostlore.
Wrapped in suitably jolly artwork – a crude, vintage photograph of a tornado laying waste to some mortals – ‘Vertigo’ features haunting, brooding tracks that could be the soundtrack to episodes of Hammer House of Horror, hauntings, or night terrors – possibly all three… and possibly within the same song.
Pop culture permeates the grooves at various intervals here: ‘Talking Board’ points its planchette in the direction of The Exorcist via the infamous “Captain Howdy” dialogue; ‘Summer Tripping Man’ steals a ‘Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb’ sample to great effect; while ‘Love Zombi’ could accompany an action montage in an episode of Space: 1999.
This is folk horror rock, not to be mistaken with folk rock; in fact, situated towards the end of the album is a pair of tracks – ‘Born To Kill’ and ‘What’s On Your Mind’ – that threaten to rock out in a more familiar fashion. They only threaten it, mind; normal for this band is still as off-kilter as the most curious thing you’ll see, and be troubled by, all year.
Recreating a soulful garage psychedelia from the late Sixties was the aim of Jess and the Ancient Ones on this album and, yes, the band members’ aim is true… even if they have paired those desired sounds with occult rock sonics of a certain vintage that are sure to give those of us from the haunted generation scare flashbacks and cold sweats.
The recreation of a bygone era’s sound and folklore exhibited here is quite remarkable, it has to be noted; inspiration found on woodcut, the ritual and ceremony faithfully recreated. This is the lysergic doom album that you were looking for. In the corner of your room. At 2am. It’ll be there again tonight. Watching. As you sleep. Fucking hell. Facebook / Bandcamp
Buy ‘Vertigo’ Here
Author: Gaz Tidey