Voivodrelease their Post Society EP on Century Media records, their latest release which continues their career long war against pigeonholing. Opening with title track ‘Post Society’ one of the 2 new tracks on the album starts off with a fierce bass line from Rocky which rattles and rolls together with Away’s drumming. The slow section around the halfway mark dropping a bit of momentum, which isn’t immediately rewarded with Voivod’s spacey goodness.
‘Forever Mountain’ is a solid track and makes good use of syncopated rhythms, combining nicely with the jazzy guitar work. The overall track is lacking something which is hard to pinpoint. However, most notably it lacks the otherworldly quality of earlier releases.
Third track ‘Fall’ starts of quietly with some spoken vocals which gently build into a fairly pedestrian track, plodding along for the majority of its first half minutes. It’s only in the last half of the track that it comes alive and show some distinct promise. The last half feels more like the Voivod of old and makes me feel excited again for a new album.
Following on from that ‘We are Connected’ is a much stronger track which has a good vibe and energy about it and has a very similar feel to opener ‘Post Society’ with a good driving beat. This is followed by a cover of Hawkwind’s ‘Silver Machine’ is a harder yet faithful re-invention of the classic which is a very pleasing listen indeed. The original is rightly a classic and Voivod’s version certainly does it justice with Snake channeling his inner Lemmy to provide a suitable tribute to the departed legend.
Post Society essentially serves as a stop-gap for those waiting on a new album proper, it does only feature only two new tracks, two tracks previously released, and a cover. On that basis it’s almost inevitable that this EP whilst a very solid effort sadly falls a bit short of Voivod’s interstellar standards.
With Britain once again under the yoke of an unrestrained Tory government and the Cold War seemingly re-activated, it’s beginning to feel like the 80s never ended. Therefore what better time for former Amebix frontman Rob “The Baron” Miller to step back into the limelight with a new band after his legendary crust trio failed to capitalise on their recent comeback record. Joined by comrades in arms Jon Misery and Andrew Lefton on guitars; both seasoned veterans of the US scene and Voïvod drummer Away behind the kit, the quartet have united under the banner TauCross, and with their debut self-titled album look set to prove once more that the old guard knows best.
Those expecting a re-run of Arise! (Alternative Tentacles) will be choking on their bottles of White Lightning as the massive chugging riffs and subtle electronica of album opener ‘Lazarus’ announces itself with aplomb. Both verses and choruses are positively radio friendly and were it not for Miller’s customary gritty throat, you could almost be listening to Killing Joke try their hand at stadium rock. Next track ‘Fire in the Sky’ has a somewhat 90s alt rock vibe struggling to emerge from under the guitars and Away’s solid percussion before things speed up considerably on the restless ‘Stonecracker’, which Lemmy would have sold his last bottle of Jack to have penned.
As the album progresses, it becomes more obvious that the band have no interest in trading on former glories and are eager to let these new songs stand on their own two feet. The expertly written flowing riffs and soaring chorus of the likes of ‘Midsummer’, the simple yet deadly stop-start refrains of ‘You People’ and the levelling power of ‘Our Day’ are so well written that the whole thing soon begins to feel like a greatest hits collection. The production is crystal clear; making the songs sound simply massive and the sheer amount of hooks on offer suggests that large festival stages were in mind during the writing process. It’s easy to imagine a whole field at a mainstream music festival raising their hands and voices to the brilliant acoustic driven ‘We Control the Fear’, for example.
The sole misstep is closing track ‘The Devil Knows His Own’; a rather twee folk ballad that allows the album to dwindle out when it should have finished with a bang, but that is a minor issue when the rest of the material on offer here is so strong. Evidently his day job as a swordsmith on the Isle of Skye has given Miller plenty of time to think up some fantastic material, and it’s something we should be incredibly thankful for as Tau Cross (Relapse Records) is one of the most listenable and engaging releases you are likely to hear until the clowns at Number 10 have been sent packing.