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Boomkat Product Review:
Psych behemoths Gnod sing the putative pleasures of the Calder Valley - the UK’s premiere UFO hotspot - on a hefty new charge recorded in Hebden Bridge
In 2021, after years on a farm in the West of Ireland, Paddy Shine joined Chris Haslam at a co-op house in the 200 year old Nutclough Tavern of Hebden Bridge, a bohemian enclave in the Pennines which heavily inspired the making of ‘Hexen Valley’. Inspired by the area’s refusenik culture and mix of architecture and folk trapped in time, overshadowed by looming hills, they descended into Hebden Bridge Underground rehearsal studio to turn their observations on the area - from overheard pub chat to local signage and the district’s strange play of light - into an instant classic, nads-out Gnod record.
Around the white-hot centrepiece of sludge rock, with its churning bassline and unrelenting 14 minute lifespan, the album swaggers from something like MES meets Buttonhole Surfers in ‘Bad Apple’ to reeling punkish charge ‘Red Skies’, with a necessary passage of respite in ‘Antidepressants’ giving way to full throttle riffage by the end, along with the beery sing-a-long ’Still Runnin’’, and strung out exhaustion and collapse of ‘Waves of Fear’ where the combust their final energies in gloriously grotty, bad belly style.