There’s a moment on the third song on this, the first album from Canberrans Pilots of Baalbek, where the band’s entire schtick makes sense. After that, the whole things a breeze…
Y’see, the first two tracks, Billy and It’s Cold, give precious little away about the band; They cook up a retro-punky stew without really making a statement. It’s nice stuff, but that’s about it.
And then Kaptain Kenji makes his appearance in a whoosh of cranked-up fuzz warfare, full-on space noises and the sort of deranged, devil-croak that Kory Clarke would recognise immediately as being something he left in the back of a cab in Eindhoven whilst pissing it up at the Dynamo Festival many moons ago… That’s right – what you’ve got here is an unholy mashup of names like Hawkwind, The Meads of Asphodel and Warrior Soul – AND I BLOODY LOVE IT!
Rippin adds a bit o’ Simmons-inspired Kiss to the mix, but then the band get back into a space-jam kinda mindset on Gravitational Pull that really hits the spot. It’s Billy Duffy circa Love doing a bit of toot with Dave Wyndorf, it’s Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom going full Moorcock, it’s Thunders and Frehley entwined in a six string deathmatch with the entire Borough of Queens as the prize… it’s all these things and so much bloody more. If you’ve ever gazed up at the Morning Star after a heavy night on the sauce, wondering just what’s going on up there, then this is the soundtrack to whatever your conclusions were.
59225 is pure, debauched punk by way of the Young Brothers, whilst the utterly swingin’ Da Loop sounds like Aerosmith just before the wheels dropped off… by which I mean it’s the primest of the prime, as well you can imagine.
I could go on but you’ve surely got the gist of where this is all going by now. It’s rare to hear music this damn good in 2020 that doesn’t have Made in Stockholm printed on the back, and who knew that Canberra would have been the new hot-railed to hell hotspot of all things punky and delicious? Seriously, people of the Sentinel Daily world, there surely can’t be one single one of yas who wouldn’t benefit by some lengthy exposure to Uncontrolled Airspace. It’s the shit, the real deal, the dogs bollocks… it’s a damn fine piece of work and I salute all involved in it’s gestation and production… Excelsior!
Uncontrolled Airspace is out on March 16th.