Comets On Fire - Blue Cathedral
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Comets On Fire
Blue Cathedral

At just about every rock show I go to, there's that guy wearing a too-tight black t-shirt with some sort of faded rawk logo on it. He looks like he goes out every night and bangs head every night and puts down more beer each night than I could on my best night. He has a bit of body odor and maybe not the best hair, but goddamn if he isn't having a lot of fun every single time I see him. He's smiling and moving and he's fucking rocking and that's basically all that matters.

Comets On Fire are sorta like that guy to me. Although I don't want to deal with them all the time, and even though I know I could never rock as hard as they do, there's something almost comforting about knowing that they're out there rocking as hard as they do. Blue Cathedral is their third album (and their first for Sub Pop) and although they've admittingly changed things a bit, they still rock out with their cock out like no tomorrow.

The basic changes from this album and their previous efforts is that the production here is cleaned up. Sometimes it's a little hard to tell because of all the oscillating gadgets and pedals laying down scorched earth, but this is cleaner fuzz as opposed to the hissy smack they used to lay down. Secondly, the group has actually expanded into slightly more trippy (and less loud) moments that are actually pretty on occasion. After opening the release with the huge blast of "The Bee And The Cracking Egg," the group drops off into the progathon of "Pussy Foot The Duke," a piano/guitar jamfest that will automatically cause blacklights to turn on and incense to burn within audible distance of any speakers this is playing out of.

It's fairly short-lived, though, and after a quiet opening passage of "Whiskey River," the group again layers guitar hook upon guitar hook as analog electronics blast and wails of guitar squall like mad as vocals that sound like a demented Robert Plant howl over it all. Even though the group has made a few changes, it's not like they're going all introspective on Blue Cathedral. In the 45-minute running time, the quieter parts still get trumped by the loud ones about 75% of the time and even their idea of backing off features big bellows of blistery guitars. Take some metal and stir in some prog, sludge, and psych rock and basically you've got yerself Comets On Fire. As the aforementioned fella in the black t-shirt says while holding his beer; 'grip it and rip it, dude!'

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2004-08-05 00:00:00