Negative Pegasus – Looming Review
For a band that dig hard on repetition, there’s a whole lot of variation.
I apologise in advance, though not that far in advance seeing as this is the start, if this review is somewhat curt and to the point. A stark contrast to usual rambling passages of inanity that my reviews tend to entail. I’ve a busy schedule at the moment – who’d have thought moving could be so hectic? I’d thought it was a simple case of just fucking off, but apparently not. I mean, just touching upon the highlights, there’s packing (a gathering together of useless crap, shit clothes, food, bottles of spirits and all of my books – they matter most, besides alcohol), there’s trying to rush finish a bunch of Open College of Arts modules that I sort of implied on my Uni application would be finished by the start of the course, there’s generally having to be both hyperactively excited and paralytically anxious simultaneously, there’s having to invent some kind of persona for these new people so they avoid contact with the absurdist mess that is my personality, there’s looking sexy and all the goodbyes – all alcohol riddled, ripped jeans and bruised body inducing goodbyes and whatever else I don’t care to remember.
I’ve already wasted two hundred words of your time on THIS word. I’m sorry, again – you probably could’ve skipped over all that. Anyway, I’m twitching and sweating from enough coffee to make that tortoise legitimately beat that hare in a 100 metre sprint. Fuck it, the tortoise could beat Usain Bolt and then happily have a heartache if we swapped bloodstream about now.
Down to business though. The wonderfully whimsically named Negative Pegasus (I envision such a thing to be like a really gay Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, sans the alcoholism) or Neg Peg for short hail from Brighton. They’re a three piece – the components of which are; Richard Netley (Guitar/Vocals), Todd Jordan (Guitar/Vocals) and Carla Foss (Drums). This is their debut album, it is called Looming and it is the culmination and realisation of, in their words, mixing ‘droning, grinding loops with wild sheets of guitar feedback to create a malevolent stew of hard-psyche and woozy, drone garage.’ As far as the Ronseal promise goes, these three pretty much do exactly what they say on the tin, and a bloody good job of it too.
How It Happens is hypnotic, not just because I like alliteration but because it genuinely is. Opening with a drawn out feedback fuzz it steadily breaks the fuzz into a loop and then come the repetitive rhythms over and under repetitive rhythms steadily building in intensity. It’s a little bit krautrock, it’s a little bit tribal, it’s a little bit some kind of zombified house. The vocals come in half way through the track, sparse, drenched in reverb and far away only adding to the hypnotism and bring a real post-punk vibe. Followed up by Ottoman Silver, a considerably shorter track but no less woozy this time focussing in on a more melodic development as it subtly crashes on a more progressive, post-rock theme – just a little bit beautiful.
Floating Omen doesn’t so much float as it struts really, kind of like Jim Morrison – part shaman, part rock star. There’s a fat groove at the bottom and widdly guitar lines dancing on top, not forgetting lashings of feedback that moves with a purposeful intent and vocals that sound like they’re being bellowed from a mountaintop. A Single Fuck appears to not give a single fuck, aptly enough. The fuck it’s not giving isn’t aggressive though, no – it’s ambient and apathetic. The track builds steadily at its own snail’s pace layer after layer of washed out and watery progressions of wave like feedback.
The Black Thigh finds Neg Peg appropriately strutting again, in such a way that might bring you to the conclusion that the Negative Pegasus they’re named after is a stripper. It’s got an instrumental Queens of the Stone Age jamming with Errors vibe, just a little bit of intricacy but a whole lot of sexy. Psychic Energy has what could be described as a psychic energy, it’s a little bit more adrenalin shot than the rest scuttling like an anxious eletronica track if Death From Above 1979 had a bit of a fuck underneath it, though still grinding down in repetition and hypnotism.
Soaker is the shortest track on offer, and works in a similar oceanic wave to A Single Fuck in that it is very minimal and sparse on well everything. It’s an ambient dead space of slow-burning tension making use of light (and I mean light) percussion, a faint heartbeat rhythm and scrawling feedback noise. Bringing everything to a close is the epic Visitation tying in with How It Happens to give the album two broad shouldered bookends. Perhaps the most tribal and shamanic track on the album too, it’s fuzzed out and huge – so much so that you could be forgiven for confusing it with for Kyuss at their most desert or section of Sleep’s epic masterpiece Dopesmoker.
Neg Peg have the noble ambition of wanting ‘people that have heard Negative Pegasus not to be able to hear anything else because they are now deaf and/or insane.’ A most honourable intention I think you’ll agree, and whilst they haven’t made me insane (you can’t crack a smashed egg) I’d happily go deaf seeing them live. The best thing though? For a band that dig hard on repetition, there’s a whole lot of variation.