Comet Control

Comet Control

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After their very heavy, very trippy neo-psych, neo-prog band Quest for Fire split up, guitarist Andrew Moszynski and vocalist/guitarist Chad Ross kept the lava lamp burning and started up a new band right away. Comet Control subtracts the prog element from the equation, replaces Pink Floyd's spaciousness with Swervedriver's guitar overload, and generally tightens up the sound to deliver a blindingly powerful debut album. Moszynski and Ross construct a fuzzy, grinding tower of guitars, the rhythm section of bassist Nicole Howell and drummer Jay Anderson keep things driving forward on the uptempo tracks while punishing ears on the slower ones, and keyboardist Christopher Sandes provides the occasional bit of outer space dreaminess. It's a winning formula, time tested by bands like Loop, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and many more, but Comet Control are in complete control of both the sound and the songcraft, and never sound like they're just a nostalgia trip. The level of energy they attack the songs with is impressive, the production is tough and live-wire electric, and the songs are filled with super hooky riffs, catchy choruses, and soaring melodies. Ross' vocals blend perfectly with the guitars, adding some poppy wistfulness to songs like the driving "Century" or the very Ride-like "The Soft Parade" while setting the controls for the heart of (inner) space on the questing jams that give the album some true depth ("Fear the Haze" or the incredibly majestic "Blast Magic," which kicks the album off perfectly). The album is balanced well, with an even mix of life-affirming, pedal-stomping rockers that will get heads bobbing, and slow-burning, heavy-as-dreams sonic explorations that will get heads nodding. Like Nothing's excellent Guilty of Everything, from the same year, Comet Control is the rare recording that shoegazers, metalheads, and psychedelic drifters can all love equally. Quest for Fire was a good band with a good sound; Comet Control blow past them like they were standing still, and their debut is something special.

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