Prepare to be compressed by the enormous weight of Adrift For Days' Come Midnight album. It’s a beast. A monster. A thing of beauty and awe-inspiring delight; and I love it. From the opening waves of feedback and doomy sludge vibes of i.A Premonition ii.Void iii.The Aftermath, one instinctively knows this album will be a treat for the senses. It’s agonisingly slow for the first four minutes (almost a third of its 15 minutes and 24 seconds length) then it breaks off into a more traditional bluesy doom sojourn. Lovers of Pilgrim, Cough and the like will weep for this album, I tells ya...it’s a massive wall of sound and you won’t be able to smoke fast enough to keep up with the relentlessness of it all. Lashings of fuzz and wah-wah send me into a trance of psychedelic joy. Fuck 11, this thing needs to played at 17 (at least). It’s Sabbath, it’s Hendrix, it’s totally awesome. The riffs are punctuated with lyrics and shrieks, bellows and chants. Around 9 minutes in, you think it’s all over but then you’re treated to some roaming bass and tripped out keyboards and delayed, echoing guitars, then after a splash more gentle vocals and guitars, it’s back to some more delightful heaviness. Incredible. I feel as if I’ve been on some kind of sonic holiday.
Gravity Well is like a gentle head-massage after the madness of the first song; tremulous vocals and minimalist instruments soothe and caress. I’m almost reminded of Fleetwood Mac in their finer hours. Suddenly it gets massively overdriven yet retains the twinkling, effects driven guitars underneath with phasers, flangers and chorus pedals slicing through the thicket. Hang on...I think the acid’s kicking in...
House of Cards is another epic clocking in over the 13 minute mark. It’s slow and moody but builds to big, fat chords. It’s apparent that Adrift don’t care for pop-tastic three minute radio edits, and that’s a good thing. These songs are epics that demand your attention yet the album can easily be played as background music (providing you don’t mind stopping a conversation mid-sentence while you’re sucked into the arrangements). At a touch under four minutes The Stonebreaker is the shortest track on here; it’s got some chanting and the twangy haunted spaces are filled with contorted LSD nightmares. Or maybe that’s just me.
Back of Beyond (10m.14s) is jammed with beautiful harmonies; a slow, chilled number with slinky percussion weaving in and out of the fat bass and gorgeous string bending. The vocals fit this perfectly. By now the room is melting and Nurse has become an avatar of the nature-gods. She’s melting into the floor, murmuring “You find yourself stuck in the deepest hole..”. How poignant, that’s exactly what the lyrics in BoB say...these Adrift fellows strike a beautiful balance between the incredibly heavy sludge/stoner/doom/drone stuff and the ethereal interludes, which seems to rescue you from nodding out from all the heaviness. Perfectly balanced.
Finally it’s Eyes Look Down From Above, checking in at a massive 19 minutes and 33 seconds. It opens with picked harmonies that build in that agonisingly slow way that’s now familiar as mummy’s bitty. Then it gets nightmarishly heavy (in a good way, naturally) and the tortured screams conjure stretched faces and contorted perspectives. I’d hide under the bed but the bed has become an ocean and the squealing, driven guitars and plodding bass want to kill me.
But suddenly I come out the other side and it was all a dream. Phew! Now I'm coming down (whatever that may mean). Luckily you too can experience the amazing hallucinatory nature of Come Midnight when it’s released on 13th July. I would strongly advise that you do. It’s awesome.