Black Space Riders – “Amoretum Vol. 2” (Black Space Records / Cargo Records)
Oh wow, super cool! Less than a year from their last release and we have the wonderful, trippy and groovy Black Space Riders back with their follow up. Like its predecessor, it’s a 14 track wonder from far and beyond, with this 2nd chapter exploring the tension between darkness (fear, hate, rejection) and light (empathy, love, acceptance). If you’ve not heard these guys before, then be prepared for an eclectic ride like no other as the band effortlessly flit between psychedelic trip hop to space rock to hardcore, hard rock and pretty much everything in between with influences ranging from Motorhead to Pink Floyd and Bauhaus! From the funky cha cha rock of ‘Walls Away’ it’s the measure of the guitars and massive bass that drive not only the melodies but the rhythm, evolving the number amid trippy vocal repetitions into a shoegaze soundscape before the power gets switched on into a swirling mass of melancholic melodies and powering harmonies. On ‘Sláinte (Salud Dinero Amor)’ happy hippy claps soon give way to a full on Celtic rock piece with the twin guitars hammering in the melodies like Thin Lizzy while building the culminating passion contrasted by hardcore vocal shout outs that conveniently give rise to the full on raucous punk rock of ‘Assimilating Love’ – amazing! As tantalising is the electro goth of ‘Leaves Of Life (Falling Down)’ with its funky beats, baritone vocals and trash rock guitar, although not without a contrasting ambient passage involving light tabla drums and ethereal melodies. ‘Body Move’ was somewhat more bizarre, mixing goth with metallic heaviness and 70s disco – might be hittin’ the funny farm with too much of that though ha ha! Hitting the warp speed on ‘Ch Ch Ch Ch pt. II (Living In My Dream)’ was very much straight up stoner rock reminiscent of Monster Magnet with heavy drums, massive psych riffs and far out vocals all rolling to a nice groove as was ‘No Way’ with its huge, flower rock harmonies and clanging guitar melodies contrasted by some harsher vocals in the background, again to a cool catchy groove sounding a feel good vibe to this extraordinary album. What is truly amazing is despite the obvious diversity and seemingly implausible combinations how the Black Space Riders get it all to fit together and moreover, still within something representing a signature sound. That my friends, is worthy of a commendation in itself even before you hear the brilliance of their music.