We lamented over people complaining about the lack of new music in the Sons Of Bill review but Henge is an even better example: they’ve invented, or lest re-invigorated, a whole genre of music. It’s music like you’ve never heard before but it’s also instantly likeable.
The basic sound is space rock, though as it also meets world, techno and prog, it’s not what you might be expecting. Actually, whatever you’re expecting, it’s not this.
They know that for their music to work, it needs a groove, so no matter how long the run-up to a tune it’s always got a groove. Fans of Ozric Tentacles, Gong, Field Music, Goat, Holy Fuck, Nick Cave will find something to like.
Opener Mushroom One is a groove-laden tune that is swampy blues meets psychedelia, with a throbbing synth bassline: we were thinking Errors, the rock / electronica / dance band. Moon is a bit more Pink Floyd, except with pounding drums and the Hawkwind sound towards the end, while Indigo Dust is more like the math rock of Battles, and has a relaxed groove and vocals.
The sound changes with the sparky pop techno of In Praise Of Water, which is more like the prog of Field Music than anything else. Monolith is where you realise they’re not playing by anyone else’s rules: an eastern guitar riff and the vocals distorted to sound like Frank Bruno on speed. It veers towards comic relief, just staying the right side of serious, while Machine Landscape kicks off vaguely Radiohead — with whistling — before becoming a relaxed space jam.
There are only seven tracks but closer Demilitarise is nearly 10 minutes long, starting off with a chant about weapons of war, before heading off into math-space-dance-rock for a long period. There’s something of the short-lived but ear catching Wu Lyf (Go Tell Fire To The Mountain) about it; they’re cocky and being different — the band line-up is Zpor (vocals, guitar, Jester), Nom (drummer, keeper of the secret plasma), Goo (bass, from Venus) and Grok (synth, human-ish) — but are good enough to get away with it.
Music is meant to be entertaining, and this does.