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Boomkat Product Review:
More proof that Sub Pop are on better form than they ever have been, ‘Avatar’ is the latest album from one of my favourite bands around at the moment – the legendary Comets on Fire. Counting the prolific Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) among their ranks, they are quite literally a psych-rock supergroup, and this album which follows 2004’s incredible ‘Blue Cathedral’ surpasses all expectations. Those of you who have heard the band before will already know how truly addictive the sound is – if you want fuzzed out psychedelic rock then you’ve come to the right place; I’m talking loud, I’m talking schizophrenic, we’ve got phasers, ridiculous tape delay effects and most importantly unforgettable riffage bringing to mind the best of Sabbath, Accadacca or Led Zep. However, for ‘Avatar’ they’ve toned down their garage band sensibility, taken the hum down on their busted amplifiers and set their minds to another challenge, writing quieter more pensive songs. That’s in no way suggesting that Ethan Miller and chums have had their balls amputated, quite the opposite in fact, but there’s plenty to suggest the lads have considered the songwriting just a touch more this time around. Take ‘Lucifer’s Melody’ for example, it still sounds like classic rock but a very different period of classic rock than we experienced in the ‘Blue Cathedral’ days of yore – luckily the guys have the skills to carry it off, Miller has never sounded more at home than crooning rather than screaming, and of course his band are all skilled enough to make any form of music sound hotter than the fires of hell. What we basically have here is a collection of songs from a band at the pinnacle of their field, okay so they’re retro – get over it, they inject more life, more passion and more skill into their craft than ten of your Franz Ferdinands. Get with the programme and listen to some real rock music – Comets on Fire are here to stay!