STA is now Ten Years Old

Access All Areas Will Howard Tells All On Negative Pegasus 12" 'Looming'

"This is, for lack of a better phrase, some heavy shit."

When it comes to music, you can’t trust what you read. Except this. Everything on this site should be taken as gospel, y’hear? Good. Anyway, when reading about a bands sound one should always be aware that things will sound better in your head than in real life. For example, in my research concerning Brighton based trio Negative Pegasus I read that they sound like Daft Punk with a lot more guitars, in my mind this morphed into this idea of them being slick yet heavy electro-rock bods as danceable as they are moshable. Then I listened to the record and it was nothing at all like that whatsoever. I couldn’t help but feel slightly dissapointed as Negative Pegasus’ actual brand of synth-ravaged psych-blues battered me round the head so it took me quite a while to appreciate how good it actually was. And lordy god is it good, it just takes some getting used to, and staying the hell away from journos who think they can define something as changeable as a rock bands sound with a snappy-yet-accurate quip.

On first listen, "Looming" is a lot more admirable than it is loveable. This isn’t psychadelic rock in the hippie-indebted, holding-hands-with-flowers-in-our-hair sense, this is, for lack of a better phrase, some heavy shit. Apparently there is no “clean” guitar or vocals on the record, every sound save Carla Foss’ pounding, primal drums having bean treated or fed through a pedal, and this is an entirely believable statement. Dirty, artless riffs hurl themselves at the listener from the pounding stomp of opener "How It Happens" coming on like Death From Above 1979 numbers played by The White Stripes at their most obtuse through Pyschic Energy’s Sabbath meets Refused squall all the way to Visitations apocalyptic, feedback soaked climax. This is a record with no hint of compromise, no-one is going to be on the fence, they’re either going to get it or they’re going to despise it. So if you take one piece of undeniable advice from this review, despite what I said at the beginning, take this. This is an uncompromising listen, with no howl-along chorus or riffs you can harmlessly bop to. In fact it’s closest comparison might be Seattles noise-pop duo Sleigh Bells, who have also seek to tear the listeners heads off with volume alone.

It’s all pretty one note, admittedly, but that’s kind of the point, and Negative Pegasus play that note so well it really doesn’t matter. At 8 tracks it doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, but they still manage to have a song that really didn’t need to be there, as Soaker is essentially the same track as it’s predecessor Psychic Energy but not quite as ferocious or as fascinating. This is still a seriously impressive debut which does a much better job at showing of the U.K’s underground heavy rock scene than some bands I could care to mention. But don’t take my word for it, I beseech you to check it out if you could really do with some blisteringly heavy yet confusing as hell rock and roll. And I hope to God that everyone does from time to time.

5 Stars

Will Howard

Full press article