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US Christmas: Run Thick In The Night

Purveyors of Hawkwind and early Floyd should be interested in Run Thick In The Night, the new album from space/psych rockers US Christmas. It is their fifth release to date and the follow up to Eat The Low Dogs. US Christmas has been around for about ten years but I have to admit this is the first time I have come across the band's music. Band members include Nate Hall (words, voice, slide, electric and acoustic guitar), Matt Johnson (electric guitar, synthesizers), Meghan Mulhearn (violin, voice), Josh Holt (bass, drones, synthesizers), BJ Graves (drums, percussion), Justin Whitlow (drums, controlled feedback) and Chris Thomas (guitar, bass).

If you dig space rock you would be wise to hear this disc. This is densely layered stuff with plenty of vintage synths and wild guitar ramblings. With a three guitar attack you can well imagine this is the focal point of the band's sound. Acoustic and electric guitars are both used to great effect. Many of these songs start with lone electric guitar chords that slowly build into thick walls of sound. Grungy guitar solos and wild feedback at times remind me of Jimi Hendrix and there is a definite late 60s, early 70s vibe.

The opening song "In The Night" builds upon spacious drum beats and psychedelic guitar chords leading into crashing rhythms and a slow plodding sludge of sound interspersed with spacey riffs and the band's patented jamming guitar style. The brooding atmospherics and densely layered sound of "Wolf On Anareta" recalls the intensity of Hawkwind while the lovely "Fire Is Sleeping" instills a folky aura with gentle acoustic strumming and droning violin with the lead vocalist having an almost Dylan-like drawl. The languid instrumental "Fonta Flora" features gurgling synths, more violin and a touch of the Middle East while "The Leonids" is another instrumental with a sparse guitar arrangement and mournful strains of violin. The mid tempo stoner rock of "The Moon In Flesh And Bone" ends the album on a high with an electric solo that drips with acidic vehemence.

US Christmas have made an excellent album with Run Thick In The Night and although it may be a little long at over seventy-five minutes this may just be the space/psych rock epic that you are looking for.

Track Listing:
1. In The Night
2. Wolf On Anareta
3. Fire Is Sleeping
4. Fonta Flora
5. Ephraim In The Stars
6. The Leonids
7. Suzerain
8. Maran
9. The Quena
10. Deep Green
11. Devil's Flower In Mother Winter
12. Mirror Glass 13. The Moon In Flesh And Bone

Added: October 11th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's NySpace page
Hits: 3193
Language: english

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