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HEY COLOSSUS – Hey Colossus II (Jonson Family / Wakusei)

Posted: February 23rd, 2005, by Chris S

The main draw with this, the second Hey Colossus long player aptly titled Hey Colossus II, is the emotional depths and insight bestowed upon us by Ian, Bob and James the vocalists in the group.
Like other great lyricists of recent times (Malkmus, Berman, Oldham, Callahan, Neko Case) you feel that it is not only the genius of the words being sung but it’s their context as part of the song in which they fit that justifies their status as genius. Scanlon, for example can sing the phone book and I’d listen but there’s a new sense of maturity and emotional sharpness to his work with Colossus that marks a move into the big league.
Take opener Red Giant for example, when Scanlon steps to the mic and delivers this unforgettable line:
it would take a cold hearted human to not just burst right open.
It’s not just Scanlon. In Raise The Flag (The Planet’s Ours) Davies brings forth this couplet of sheer beauty:
Or in the mighty tune Vengeance where the sheer subtlety and deftness of James’ delivery almost renders this wondrous line inaudible
If you’re not already rushing for the stores then let’s not forget to look at the music of Hey Colossus. The rhythm section breathes like a creature all of its own. Complex and deft tricksy rhythms are handled and delivered with nonchalance and true beauty. A beauty somewhat akin to someone with really big shoes on kicking you over and over again in your arsehole.
The guitar playing is similarly sparkling. Where mere mortal bands might make do with 1 or 2 guitarists, Colossus use 3. Any danger of them getting in each others way and clouding the tonal palette is rendered null and void by the breadth of sounds they use. At the end of Red Giant one guitar plays a delicate figure along the lines of
whereas the other two intertwine around this in a way Television* would be proud of with separate parts that go a little like this:
It is also rendered null and void because they are deaf. As you will be.
*When I say Television I mean Television if they were mental and had really big amps and did not want to make any friends.
Someone told me Colossus sound like Isis and Neurosis. That’s a sack of shit. Those bands are metal bands who are trying to get arty. These guys have done arty indie to death and now they’re doing metal. Totally, totally different. Better. Less embarrassing. Heavier because the rhythms are more pulse like. Nastier because it’s not just riffs, it’s messy riffs with noise sitting round every note like a scarf of squidgy evil.

Hey Colossus rules.

Chris S

Chris lives for the rock and can often be seen stumbling drunkenly on (and off) stages far and wide. Other hobbies include wearing jumpers, arsing about with Photoshop and trying to beat the world record for the number of offensive comments made in any 24 hour period. He has been married twice but his heart really belongs to his guitars. All 436 of them.


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