Comets on Fire 

Field Recordings from the Sun

If you've ever really taken the time to listen to a car crash, you've probably noticed that it is not so much the sound of the impact, but the tense moments beforehand that really cause your heart to race triple-time. Santa Cruz's Comets on Fire are able to get this sound on disc, a white-knuckle, screeching, high-velocity spin that is all the more frightening because the ride you're in is so damn heavy.

In the past, Santa Cruz has been best known for its proliferation of liberal-minded stick-jugglers and Sapphocentric folk-singers. Comets on Fire, however, are coming from something even murkier and crustier than the gutter punks that now line the seaside town's streets. The group is all about wattage á la Blue Cheer -- flaming, howling guitars and whorls of free-form outer-space percussion. Imagine if the local hessians set up shop in a wind tunnel with their Marshalls stacked neck-high, and you're halfway to understanding the cavernous depths that Comets on Fire wallow in. The group has tamed its collective urge to boogie that was prevalent on its last LP, now instead breathing a psychedelic concoction that is as enamored with the Art Ensemble of Chicago as it is with the 13th Floor Elevators. Halfway through the disc the amazing Ben Chasny (of Six Organs of Admittance) adds acoustic solace with an incense break called "The Unicorn." Then the group is back on the frontlines, kicking up filth and throwing down bolts of thunder. This is the sort of stuff Lemmy was kicking out before the ace of spades figured so prominently in his life.

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