[Album Review] Doomsquad- Total Time
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Release Date: April 29th, 2016
Label: Hand Drawn Dracula

Doomsquad have always loomed large in the Ride the Tempo universe but the Blumas siblings have outdone themselves with their latest album ‘Total Time’. Although they have traded in some of their sombre psychedelia for more rhythm’n’groove, do not for one second think that means they are becoming more “commercial”. Quite the contrary: quite often on ‘Toal Time’ they let their experimental spirits run free and unbridled, making their impressive output all the more compelling.

If there is such a thing as a signature Doomsquad sound then it is perhaps captured on “Who Owns Noon in Sandusky”. Arp synths mark out a world rhythm, while the trio sing in chorus, somewhat distantly. It’s a great template, and it’s even more fun when you mess with it. “Father’s Almanac” starts out with some cool electronic ambience before evolving into a ‘70s jazz/funk vibe with the sisters doing the background chorus thing. The vocals get shoved way to the back on “The Very Large Array” and are almost absent (but not quite) on “Russian Gaze”. All that this does, however, is put the spotlight more on their technical prowess in creating innovative soundspaces, such as the menacing electro beat on “Eat the Love”, the cold mechanic/industrial ambience of “Collective Insanity”, and the spacey rhythm swirling through “Solar Ass”.

The standout track may well be “It’s the Nail that Counts, Not the Rope” (just for the title alone?) as it brings together all of the elements that make Doomsquad so special. The song opens with a synthetic sci-fi throbbing noise, plus what sounds like a futuristic police squad hot on your tail.  The sense of panicked paranoia is heightened as the throbbing turns into a techno pounding and the police take to the skies in pursuit. Female voices swoop and soar in vaguely Eastern-sounding moans, but eventually they take on more of a hissing snarl. “Motherfuckers!” It’s a story arc of future shock and rage against the machine.

The trio don’t scrimp on song length, giving themselves large canvases to work with. The music is given plenty of room to shift and morph, so there’s none of this nonsense with being pre-formed and ready-to-eat right out of the package. Furthermore, the track lengths afford more time for the listener to absorb the rhythms. It’s mesmerizing. You succumb. Willingly. Happily.