Album Review: White Lodge-Holy Void EP

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Take a fucking geez at that album cover, and try not to engage in some sort of existential plight. It looks like Willy Wonka took control over Alice in Wonderland’s acid trip. Its chunky and kid-friendly, but at the same time, you feel like if you stare at it too long, you may or may not end up in a mental asylum babbling about how the Lollipop King is fucking Selena Gomez. Remember, I haven’t even gotten to the music at this point, I’m just talking about the cover. So, does the music reciprocate the psychedelic goodness that the cover promises? Yes, yes it does.

The EP opens with a track called ‘Breathe of Shiva’. Never fear, this isn’t some sort of doom metal opus to a far-flun Norwegian god. No, this a ramshackle, head-bopping psych number, constructed like The Kinks were hit with some pink ecstasy. The 60’s vibes are really strong in this track, and as far as opening an EP can go, ‘Breathe of Shiva’ does a great fucking job. The follow-up to this, ‘Teenage Fever Dream’,  continues that weird rage change up that occurs towards the end of ‘Breathe of Shiva’, as a furious early-King Gizz thing emerges. Honestly, the breathe of Godzilla couldn’t sound greater being bellowed in one’s ear, as ‘Teenage Fever Dream’ sound encapsulates the feeling of being on the verge of your deathbed, and yet being compelled to go out to your friend’s show, because Geena’s gonna be there, and she’s like, really hot. As such, the song comes off disturbed and deranged, very fried and very horny, just the way I like my garage rock to go down.

‘Black Hyacith’ changes the pace again, reverting to a swamp-rock deliciousness. Imagine if The Scientists at their most fucked-up, were transported to 2013, and were given a tour support of The Murlocs, and asked to write a song inspired by their experiences. Despite not knowing what the fuck a Hyacith is, and what shades of colour in comes in, you can’t help but simultaneously let your skin crawl in horror and your brain scream in pleasure at this track’s amazing sound. However, the sound of seagulls show that shit’s gonna change yet again on ‘Velvet Sea’. The rock n roll is strong with this track, and if you don’t have flecks of poisoned saliva stained across your face, you’re not listening right.

‘Red Moon Hex’ switches back to the brain-dead psychopathic sounds of ‘Black Hyacith’, and again, it sounds amazing. The Wild West whistles (you know what I mean) add to the atmosphere of danger, and then when the shouted vocals get blown into your face, you feel like Nick Cave could be deadly again, like that time FIDLAR covered ‘Red Right Hand’. The EP closes with the slow-moving but mesmerisingly shady ‘Corduroy Clouds’, a track that may be a bit more long-winded than the rest, but is no less fantastic. It drools with cartoonish heart, and the drawn-out holy sounds will drain your brain into a content, vegetative state. Isn’t that what we all want?

Overall, White Lodge are a band that manage to change it up constantly, but never lose their unique and powerful energy. Their music always maintains an element of unruliness, and seems like its on the verge of overdriven mania, but it never hits the point of alienation. And that is how you make really fucking great music.

You can download ‘Holy Void’ for name-your-price at White Lodge’s Bandcamp, and there is no conceivable reason why you wouldn’t. The band come from Queensland, so here’s to hoping they make the trek down south for a couple shows.

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