Simultaneously offering a haunting bordering on nightmarish temptation alongside a warm seductive tonic for the senses, the rock ‘n’ roll of French trio Weird Omen has always been a magnetic lure but within new album Surrealistic Feast reveals itself a sonically perceptual anomaly as it casts the listener adrift on a purgatory sea of addictive wonder. Try pinning the band’s sound down and you will flounder on the rocks of defeat but there is no missing its instinctive fascination and rousing prowess as proven within their new adventure of captivating strangeness.
Surrealistic Feast is the third full-length from the threesome of baritone saxophonist Fred Rollercoaster (King Khan and the Shrines, Bee Dee Kay and the Roller Coaster…), guitarist/vocalist Sister Ray (Ray and the Dead Drums…), and drummer/vocalist Remi Pablo (Escobar, Anomalys…) basking in a sound which has perpetually grown and boldly explored new realms by the record. It is a proposition as raw as it is radiant, a fusion of garage rock and punk with psych and neo psych tendencies amidst dark punk ‘n’ roll inclinations but a sound which still emerges outside of that broad decades embracing suggestion. Now within Surrealistic Feast it flourishes like never before, every song an individual collusion of flavours emerging pure and unique Weird Omen.
A Place I Want To Know starts things off, immediately the growly tone of Rollercoaster’s sax infesting ears and appetite from within cavernous surroundings. Swiftly the nagging beats of Pablo eagerly pester as too the predacious jangle of guitar from which a delicious melodic siren rises. The beauty of the track is sublime, its welcome harassment irresistible and fiery nature thrillingly rapacious; the outstanding opener a mix of raw aural tocsin magnificence and similarly alluring vocal persuasion.
The following Wild Honey makes just as much of a teasing and tempting start, beats a trigger to sonic hunger and the quickly blasting flames of addiction brewing sax. Whether returning to the Weird Omen sound or making Surrealistic Feast an introduction, the husky lure of its voice is unavoidable and persistent manna to these ears but just as powerfully matched as bait by the scything rhythms of Pablo and Ray’s melodically acidic and lustrous infestations as epitomised in the second track. Its rumble is open but controlled, underpinning the virulence swirling above and channelled into a vocal incitement impossible to leave alone.
Celestial heights are ventured once more through Please Kill Me, its prowling flight a sizzling wind of psych fuzz and sinister rock ‘n’ roll. At times it merges gothic psychobilly reminding of The Orson Family and the scorched punk of The Scaners to its compelling body, all the while niggling away at the imagination before Earworm uncages its own feral swing. Echoing the grungy wildness of Escobar in its breath, the track is a cyclone of salacious garage rock as punked up as it is melodically caustic and more than living up to its moniker.
The album’s title track is next, Surrealistic Feast a devious serenade cored by a rhythmic predation which controls the underbelly of mania eager to share its psychosis. The dual vocal incitement of Ray and Pablo circumvents skin effortlessly as beats hold limbs subservient, greed and imagination instantly enthralled and ever lustful through the rasping quirts of sax. The track is pure devilment, demonic sound at its most improper.
The sixties garage rock lined Collection Of Regrets brings its own individual temptations quickly after, its mellow hunting pop catchiness aligned to earthy untamed boisterousness while successor, The Goat, swings in with an old school rock ‘n’ roll and blues nurtured swagger; a hungry strut interrupted by punk brewed ferity from time to time with every corruption leaving greater creative savagery. Both tracks had us bouncing in various states of pleasure as too did the dirt encrusted pop ‘n’ roll of Trouble In My Head, a track resembling something akin to The 13th Floor Elevators immersed in the organic infectiousness of Thee Exciters and the untamed aberrance of The Mummies.
The composed yet twisted stomp of Out Of My Brain had attention locked within seconds of its hypnotic stroll, only gripping tighter as its aggression and mania escalated before leaving album closer, I Will Write You Poetry to pick up the pieces which it does with ease with its trash coated melodic croon.
Weird Omen can pretty much be trusted to constantly provide an unpredictable escape and adventure which arouses, disturbs, and leads the listener to realms of sonic curiosity and inimitable temptation; this time it comes in one glorious escapade going by the name of Surrealistic Feast.
Surrealistic Feast is out now via Dirty Water Records; available @ https://weirdomen.bandcamp.com/album/surrealistic-feast and https://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/Weird-Omen/c/32921273/offset=0&sort=normal
Pete RingMaster 28/03/2019
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