SLOW DAWN – Into the Machine Haus (2022)REVIEW

The intoxicating, candlelit garage psychedelic and occasionally sax-jammed condition of Canadian trio Slow Dawn‘s gig finds its amplified potency on this third full-length album, leaving behind much of the id-crumbling noise of their prior records for the sake of wandering less and steeping more heavily within their most esoteric nature. ‘Into the Machine Haus‘ bears a broken blacklight sort of glow, a solemn yet curious mindset speaking its eerie truth in a drugged and slurring language. It is the all roll anti-rock sidling of kosmiche musick, space rock and neo-psychedelia’s earliest vibrancy draped in the blank face of post-punk — a bustling beat driving a watery, searching sort of abandon that -moves- and continues rambling-on entirely sure of itself in an admirable if not brief mannerism-rich rouse. Eh, a succinct and easily enjoyed psychedelic rock record however you’d cut it.

From what I’ve gathered Slow Dawn formed in Ottawa circa 2014, eventually featuring former members of acid punk group Holy Cobras and experimental/drone project Masss. Setting off as a quartet to start they’d soon release a scruffy, noisome psychedelic rock demo (‘Demo‘, 2015) before more clearly rendering this Mark I version of the band on their debut EP (‘You Are Now Entering…‘, 2016) by incorporating downtempo rock, dreary loops, and even a bit of kosmiche rock motorik movement in a low key sort of way. Slow Dawn‘s debut and thus far sole record as a quartet ‘Songs From a Distant Earth‘ (2017) was fittingly titled, a buried recording bearing their most ‘Sound of Confusion‘-era Spacemen 3 influenced sound at that point, an influence which generally sustains on their Mark II recordings as a trio alongside vague elements of post-punk and krautrock still informing their overall vibe and garage-busted sound design. It were the pleasant dream-like yet not exactly space rockin’ dirges and nox collision-heavy High Rise-esque maximal noise of their second album ‘Experimental Farm‘ (2020) that’d start to catch ears on a larger scale, wherein every wave they’d put out came with a side-swiping bend, and all of it delivering a resplendent, sunny abrasion that’d felt sublimely analog.

As suggested, the beats are steady as here compared to past works. The golden grit of noisy, head down and high-as psychedelic rock is well alive in spirit yet ‘Into the Machine Haus‘ is informed by a sort of late 70’s experimental rock boundlessness achieved by way of guitar/synth layers which avoid the typical blues driven heavy rock swings of the era, instead turning to steady and continuous flow for effect. This notably includes early post-punk’s anthemic automation, space rock’s use of lively rhythm section repetition, and the band’s own slow and easy neo-psychedelia attuned movement with most of ye olde farting around left on the cutting room floor. We’re all the way into the basement show and hitting the Kool-Aid by the time “Ursula” takes us there completely with its Geezer-heavy bass guitar tone and hypnotic beat but the full plate of dark yet easygoing movement doesn’t rush to reveal, I mean, they’ve still got more to kick around on Side B but I’m getting ahead of myself…

As evidenced by charged opener “Near Dark” and the easy stepping glide of “See Through”, Slow Dawn have focused as intently as possible upon reaching into various realms of ancient stylistic ideals for the sake of presenting a potent ~23 minute vibe which becomes an ominous yet celebratory event (“You’re the One”) as it begins to sink in. This shouldn’t seem all that aggressively strange next to their past discography or, those familiar with groups like Nest Egg or (early) Föllakzoid, perhaps because of a few darker kraut beats here and there, yet it is worth noting again that this is the most direct Slow Dawn have been thus far, to a fault though? A glowingly tuneful sort of dread builds quick enough to grip the ear within each piece, a momentum which naturally peaks around “Gliding Things” and the illuminant send-off buzz of “Decompression” yet just as soon as we’re there the lights are fully on and they’re already packing things up. Though I’d felt it was too brief and surely warranting at least one or two more songs ‘Into the Machine Haus‘ nonetheless impresses in achieving clandestine psychedelic rock excess in spirit without ever having to search through their junk drawers, killing time while they search for the right stuff. It’d been a joy to leave on repeat and revisit for weeks on end, anyhow. A high recommendation.

High recommendation. (79/100)

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
TITLE:Into the Machine Haus
LABEL(S):Cardinal Fuzz,
Centripetal Force
RELEASE DATE:May 13th, 2022

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