Need a soundtrack to make the monotonous weekday commute feel like you’ve transcended the oppressive temporal and spatial boundaries which shackle us to the confines of reality? Jupiter‘s Interstellar Chronodive will transport you back to the heady days of near-universal altered-consciousness, hedonistic indulgence and killer proto-metal riffage of the 1970’s.
Rocking out of Churchmoor, Finland, came this release from the surprisingly young trio in July 2015, and it has been on my playlist ever since. There were several weeks where I considered mini-reviewing it because I couldn’t find the time to devote to the full-length review it totally deserves. The six tracks clocking in at around 45 minutes are an excellent balance of proggy psych-drenched meandering and straight-up riff-laden heavy rock.
From the first moments of opener “Stonetrooper”, vibes of rolling into a small-town in an old beat-up gas-guzzling convertible car take me back in time. The lurching half-cut swagger of the bass combined with the splashes of desert sun-soaked reverb twang of the guitars tangibly staining the UV-faded wood-grained interior trim-kit. After the three-minute drive to the center of town, the killer riffs blast into gear and you into space.
The album perfectly oscillates between these two styles, sometimes over the course of a couple of minutes, other times within a single riff. An example being the ending of “Premonitions”, where the band bring a stoned pseudo-doom heaviness to the front, only for it to dissolve into a storytelling spoken word intro jam (think The Doors) on the next track “Dispersed Matter/Astral Portal”. To my ears though, amongst the heavyweight bands of the period, the driving riffs on this album most resemble those of Deep Purple.
Admittedly, the vocals were not exactly a stand-out at first, but they quickly grew on me to the point where I can’t imagine these songs with anything different. It really helps that the lyrics (from what I can piece together) are pretty damn fitting for the mood of the album. While the band is Finnish, the lyrics are in English, so you can die with a smile on your face (nothing against Finnish but The Big Lebowski is on in the background at the moment) and echo back lines such as –
“I take all, and give nothing in return.
I don’t give a damn about you!
Give me a beer, and a cigarette,
and a joint as well.
I’ll smoke them all the way, from you.”
[“Spirit of the Leech” 2:25-3:00]
The eye-catching album cover was what drew me to the album in the first place, which as many of you know, is commonplace for this shallow lizard, but I’ll be damned if the art isn’t indicative of the experience you’ll receive from spinning this well-rounded and ultimately enjoyable album.