Monday, 4 April 2016
Vert:x - Annwn
A couple of years ago, there seemed a real and very concerning possibility that Vert:x might be about to suspend activities indefinitely. Thankfully that was a threat that proved to be short-lived.
Neil Whitehead's project returned, now with Vinnie C as his established musical partner, releasing the storming twenty-minute single 'Pure Golden Light' at the end of last year and now comes a fresh release of 'Annwn', produced by Earthling Society's Fred Laird, to remind us, if we'd been stupid enough to forget, why we love them so much.
The lovably intense drone at the heart of the band still remains, but there's an equally lovable playfulness in evidence this release. Frowning over their instruments they clearly are not: ten-minute opener 'A Witch!', complete with telling exclamation mark, is the work of a band enjoying what they do and possessing the musical dexterity to transmit that with familiarly laid back ease.
It's an upbeat mood that permeates the whole release, from the swirling synths of 'Atom a.k.' to the nineteen-minute frantic head-shredding extravaganza of closing track 'Y ol i Annwn'. I'm playing 'Surf Crayola' in my Dandelion Radio show this month, a track that puts space rock tools in the hands of a sixties garage band. The result are, predictably, shambolically brilliant.
You can download some of the tracks here but it's seriously worth getting hold of the full CD version. They'll also be recording a session for my show for broadcast some time in the summer - not to be missed, I would suggest.