Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Pyres Of The Oregonian


Released 2015 on SeidrSuperSeries
The Seth Man, September 2015ce
Hail Iommi!
Hail Pike!
Hail O’Malley!
Hail Kittrell!

Welcome Ryan Kittrell to the Underground, the latest figure to emerge from the shadows of the waysted-land of doom, stoner, sludge and metals that aren’t even on the Periodic Table of Rock yet. Until recently, I thought Kittrell was a good decade older due to his experience, suss and overall knowledgeable vibe of all things SABBATH, SLEEP, OM, SUNNO))) but no: he’s got the internet PLUS the burning fire in his head to create, create, CREATE! Hey: you got the internet, too, so there’s no excuse anymore. He’s a seeker, a thinker, an overall stinker and like those of the Sabbath posse, a possessor of killer riffs as well as an equally killer sense of humour. Kittrell’s been in bands drumming, strumming and vocally cumming while waiting for someone to match his magpie vocalismos, his left-handed guitar riff bombardments, drone capabilities and overall enthusiasm for this thing called ROCK. Many were called but…like Ian Gillan before him: no one came.

Did he despair?
Did he care?
Nope: He just built himself a big old bonfire to fuck off his past and called it…PYRES OF THE OREGONIAN.

And what a bonfire it is! Call all the dead Norsemen in longships and tell Guy Fawkes the news because this is one flaming youth on fire. Why? Well, it’s your first album and you make it a concept album about a stupornaut from Earth, Weedians, Hybridians and some outsider called Sab Floyd?!! Of course you do! You add Mongolian throat chants, howling guitar, fucking with the levels audience recordings and do a remix of one track as the finale. Now tell me, is that confidence, or what? Is that gall? Is that not the promise of all those early Nektar sleeves finally delivered on sonic waves?! Sure is, so bring it fucking on!

In a resplendently culty sleeve to die for that echoes all the darkness, the throwing of mile-long shadows across desolate plains, the sublime freak-when-seas and solitude within, “Pyres Of The Oregonians” sparks up with “The Oregonians” (natch) and a short Mongolian throat rattle to clear the custard and allow for memories of “The Revolving Mask of Yamantaka” to bubble to the surface amidst tinkling chimes and the swirling smoke of substances from the Middle East calling the faithful to prayer. Stoic bass rattles lowly until co-joined by grinding guitar plus percussion and further invocations of the Oregonian oblivion above. A sludgy mess to mess your mind, “Discovery” bursts in with heavy guitar only to mellow out and then to allow for razing vocals to seize its lyrics by its death-rattling throat. As the song retrogrades into further guitar bombardments and amassed rhythms, the only place the album can go is further downwards…

…Which is does with the heavy “Lies The Weedian.” Lies The Weedian.” Man, this is where it all really begins to get…interesting. And I still don’t know where the story is except for within the spaces of its doom-laden bass drapes over the roar of left-handed and upended riffage as Kittrell intones the next chapter of this story without end. Soon, it all dissolves into a post-psychedelic vortex of riffage, riffage, more riffage until reaching a transcendental solo in the coda until everything just slowly sinks, falls away into an insensible void of cat-calls from the Princess of the Universe, chattering from inner space and ultimately: indifference from outer space. “Sab Floyd” continues the pace with Sab lead-booted heaviness, vocals streaking across the sky while a lone “Hand Of Doom” bass stands silently on a cliff at the end of time. An audience cheers for no reason. “Sab Floyd” slowly walks the backwards path into silence as the audience re-emerges…cuts out…continues...cuts out…re-emerges…cuts out…moves to an isolated left channel and then…stops. Whoa -- what a way to end on a nighttime rally: just pull the fucking plug, turn out the lights and walk away.

“Venus,” recorded during a period of the recent retrograde period of that planet of love, opens with yet more foreboding bass and heavy riffing pile-driven by slow, hefting drums. A voice enters to serenade the buds of love and all else that grows and is green. Soon, a near-choir of voices intones over further wasted guitar lines until sometime later -- an extended, slow bell-tone guitar soloing parts to waft into bubbling.

The space whispering embryo of “Hybridian” is soon slammed into by a massive asteroid strum against the SG of Iommi via Matt Pike via Stephen O’Malley: Yeah: THAT massive. Over and over again. Further whisperings signal the coming of the offspring of the Stupornaut and the woman of Weedia and at this point, I gotta say I ain’t never heard anything like this in a concept album, ever. ‘Specially a space opera, and sure as shit not “A Child Is Coming” from “Blows Against The Empire”! More like an outtake recording of “Infinity” off Aphrodite’s Child’s “666” massive double LP but only if Irene Papas partook of the herb and -- while Vangelis of her lover -- pleasured herself with rapturous delight in the dark as the baby at the end of “Paranoid” by Grand Funk was playing over and over again in the studio at 1/100th the speed over the monitors of Europa Sonor Studios. (OK, maybe not. But it’s about as fucking as close as we’ll ever get and at this point in time, that’s good enough for me.)

“Departure” begins a slow dirge while the voice of space angels warble above and bong huffing ensues below. Slow streaks of electronic regret repeatedly ascend and descend as the piece prepares for psychic departure until a massive vocal choir enters. Echoing throughout the galaxy its eternal words, a final guitar coda signals the end as it fades too soon. “Journey Home” features harmonic space vocals over air-locked spaceship hum electronics, cut off by cymbal hiss and back into a reprise of “Venus”-- now remixed into a harmony vocal-strong piece couched in gentle electronics, echoey guitar FX, bubbling and all the space in the universe.