Anxiety-inducing clouds of menacing unease permeate “Clouds,” the formidable new track from the British noise rock trio Concrete Ships, whose new album In Observance drops on March 26 via the U.K. label Trepanation Recordings.
Get a first listen to the group’s new single below!
On Bandcamp, Concrete Ships describe themselves as purveyors of “post-psychedelic noise rock,” and this descriptor really feels quite aptly reflected in the music. On “Clouds,” which runs for a little over nine minutes, the group performs an expansive, noisy rock, with a sort of tensed up psych foundation. The simmering rhythms feature a captivating psych swagger — especially when the tempo slows a bit and Concrete Ships sound like they’re just smoothly jamming — but there’s an unmistakable tension in the sound.
As “Clouds” rolls on, the track takes on somewhat of an ethereal yet agitated feeling, presenting a very immersive and broad portrait of a kind of anxiety. The track starts with formidable and briskly moving riffing, although even in these more confrontational moments, the music feels captivatingly repetitious, delivering a disorienting slant. The particular streak of chaos that Concrete Ships have captured in this song feels mesmerizing — to take a cue from the cover art for In Observance, which features a solitary burning building, the central perspective of this music feels like gazing into flames with a creeping sense of ominous wonder.
Just before the song’s two-and-a-half minute mark, Concrete Ships mellow out considerably, performing wispy rhythms in place of the previous stormy rock. Some of the vocal performances on the song have a sort of restrained spoken word cadence — the lyrics feel (comparatively) quiet but jarringly menacing, and the jazzy psych vibes gradually grow in uneasy intensity as the song moves forward. The dynamic and expansive unease feels weirdly entrancing, and the track bursts back into abrasive — and sort of fiery — tension at around the eight-minute mark. The fist-pumping psychedelic swagger is pretty awesome. The tension isn’t overpowering — instead, as the powerful song proceeds, it’s invigorating.
“‘Clouds’ is the second single to be released from our upcoming album In Observance and sees us indulge in our more psychedelic inclinations,” Concrete Ships share. “The track is an attempt to document the decline towards a familiar and completely avoidable state of unpleasantness, yet intentionally allowing oneself to fall into it, into the comfort of the discomfort.”
Pre-order In Observance at this link.