Monday, September 17, 2012
EAT LIGHTS BECOME LIGHTS Heavy Electrics
Eat Lights Become Lights have changed labels for album number two – swapping Enraptured Records for Rocket Girl, with The Great Pop Supplement releasing the vinyl edition of “Heavy Electrics”. But rest assured there is no mechanical overhaul for Eat Lights Become Lights, instead a precision-tooled progression to their instrumental juggernaut krautrock sounds. If 2011’s “Autopia” was heavily themed around travel and often acted as a sound-track to a neon-lit, open-throttle dash along the long, empty concrete autobahn, “Heavy Electrics” is a dark sci-fi rocket-trip, sometimes firing on all thrusters, at others coasting in the spooky tranquillity of deep space. The intricate patterns of the album cover also seem to point sinisterly to HR Giger ‘Alien’ designs.
I suspect opening track ‘Bound For Magic Mountain’ is more likely a reference to the Los Angeles theme park than the alpine sanatorium novel by Thomas Mann, if at all. It is a fearsome and speedy roller-coaster of a ride, more of a plummet than undulating peaks and troughs, ushered in by bleeps and urgency, powered by sheet metal drum clatter and insistent stabbing synths before culminating in a mind-melting frenzied noise.
This hard-edged collision of rock and techno pulse is revisited in ‘La Kraut III’ and the roaring guitar squall of the title track. Overall the album is shot through with less of the motorik of Neu and more the freedom of Can – or maybe the propulsive drive of Holy Fuck. Easing off the accelerator pedal slightly is the low-budget 80s sci-fi soundtrack of ‘Syd Mead Cityscape’. ‘Sunrise At Marwar Junction’, is as mysterious, evocative and even as spiritual as the title suggests in its tinkling splendour and chimes. The ten minute ’Terminus IV’ demands more patience as simple loops of guitar and synthesizer coalesce over a slow five minute escalation into a dark, crunching tempest.
It is astonishing that Eat Lights Become Lights is mainly the studio product of one man Neil Rudd. Live the band is filled out by “the Eat Lights collective, a constantly shifting tableau of gifted musicians” but the sonic onslaught and depth of “Heavy Electrics” on record sounds as though it has taken an Olympian army to create. Heavy electrical storms predicted, delivered and very welcome to stay.
Eat Lights Become Lights Heavy Electrics [BUY]