Comet Control - Comet Control Vinyl LP

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Special Features: Black vinyl. Download card.

Tracklisting:

Side A

  1. Blast Magic
  2. Future Forever
  3. Ultra Bright
  4. The Soft Parade

Side B

  1. Century
  2. Hats Off to Life
  3. Fear the Haze
  4. Master

Release Date: June 24, 2016

Label: Tee Pee Records

Origin: USA

When Toronto shoegaze-psych explorers Quest for Fire announced they were done in Jan. 2013, hints were dropped that new bands were already in the works. For guitarist/vocalist Chad Ross and guitarist Andrew Moszynski, that hint pays off in the arrival of Comet Control, who make their self-titled debut on Quest for Fire‘s former label, Tee Pee Records. Some elements are recognizable between the two bands — Ross‘ distinctly dreamed-out vocal style and a penchant for languid guitars permeate cuts like opener “Blast Magic,” “Hats off to Life” and closer “Master” in a way one might draw from one act to the other — but by the time Comet Control‘s Comet Control has played out its vinyl-ready eight songs and 40 minutes, there can be little mistaking one for the other. Quest for Fire‘s self-titled debut from 2009 and its 2010 follow-up, Lights from Paradise

, had their rocking moments as well, usually as a payoff to some gradual build, but Comet Control is by far a more active-sounding band. Comprised of Ross, Moszynski, bassist Nicole Howell, keyboardist Christopher Sandes and drummer Jay Anderson, the five piece get into some genuine space rock on memorable songs like “Future Forever,” the highly-stylized “Ultra Bright” and perhaps most of all on “Century,” the dividing point of the tracklist and presumed side B launch. The upbeat material is what most marks out Comet Control, but the emerging dynamic and fluidity with which they shift from faster material to slower psychedelia is no less integral to the overall vibe of the album, which is hazy enough to limit visibility and yet clearheaded in its execution of hooks like that on “Ultra Bright” and “Future Forever.”

Those two particularly stand out for their relatively straightforward take. Comet Control opens with a sprawl; “Blast Magic” is the longest song on the album (immediate points) at 8:04 and can almost be read stylistically as a transition point between Quest for Fire and this new band. It is a slow roll, steady in its nodding appeal, and Ross‘ vocals in both the verse and the chorus incantations make a familiar impression over the lush instrumentation. Even here, though, Comet Control have a heavier, fuller sound, less concerned with minimalism and more comfortable in the heft emerging. This proves to be a precursor once the subsequent one-two shots of “Future Forever” and “Ultra Bright” introduce the faster, more swirling side of Comet Control‘s sound. Looking at the record’s structure in a linear form — digital or CD, though vinyl is pretty clearly what they were thinking of in putting it together — the five-piece depart from “Blast Magic” and continue to build momentum through “Century” before they pull back again on “Hats off to Life,” which puts “Future Forever,” “Ultra Bright,” “The Soft Parade” and “Century” into a distinct movement separate from the other four tracks included. To say half the record is fast and half is slow is over-simplifying it — and flat-out wrong, time-wise — but it reinforces how much opening with “Blast Magic” adds to the richness of the proceedings that the album as a whole comes across not as bifurcated along tempo lines, but as an engagingly complex and varied release, whether it’s the blown-out bass buzz of “The Soft Parade” adding a touch of garage to the effects wash and Anderson‘s well-grounded drumming or the acoustic psych-blues push of the penultimate “Fear the Haze.”

The latter particularly is a singular entity with the album. Not enough to derail what by then is a viscerally satisfying flow, but just before Comet Control round out with the otherworldly ruminations of “Master,” they kick into a surprising moment of swing with “Fear the Haze,” reminding some of Arbouretum‘s more upbeat moments initially, but still definitely keeping their own sensibility within the motion of the drums, bass and guitar, Ross‘ vocals acting as a uniting factor between the track and the rest of the material surrounding. Along with the rush of “Century” and the momentum built up leading to it, “Fear the Haze” is one more moment of distinction or Comet Control as they establish a sonic persona on their debut — and it’s worth reiterating that Comet Control, while obviously the output of an experienced songwriting modus, is a first album and sounds like one. The band are feeling out their position, trying new things, and determining where they want to go and how they want their music to take them there. As a result, even a peaceful wash like that of “Master” has a sense of freshness to it, and the album’s mood is (ultra) bright and its spirit generous. One listens to it and afterward might be given to considerations of toward what stylistic terrain Comet Control may be headed, if the space-rocking side or the dreamgaze side will win out, but rest assured, while Comet Control is on, it will demand full attention with its immersive and hypnotic course. For those who like me were saddened at the loss of Quest for Fire, there will be enough familiar in Comet Control to soothe some of that, but the new unit are quick in distinguishing themselves and their potential going forward leaves little room for wistful idolatry. - The Obelisk (http://theobelisk.net/obelisk/2014/04/29/comet-control-comet-control-review/)