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Upsilon Acrux Galapagos Momentum Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

The overall experience is of being in a grind core horror movie...

Rob Crossan 2007

Is there any worse sub-genre heading than that of ‘jazz-core’? Unfortunately, that’s the bracket that, for desperate want of a less linguistically abhorrent alternative, Vista California freaksters Upsilon Acrux have been herded into since their utterly formless, crunching stop-start freeform instrumental adventures began in the late 1990’s.

For the uninitiated this really is music to make your head explode. The closest this kind of music ever came to the mainstream is on the most crazed moments of Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart. But that was the 60s. Willful experimentation of this sort is not nearly so widely encouraged these days and Galapagos Momentum is still the definition of ‘marginal appeal’.

Tracks “Boa vs., crab” and “Touched by God (inappropriately)” are probably the closest you’ll get to finding a melody on this album but boy, are you a long way from ‘Coldplay’ territory here. Drums explode out of speakers randomly; guitar riffs played so hard that you suspect a rice flail was used on the instrument instead of fingers rip open your skull and then vanish again. Nothing seems quite as it should and the overall experience is of being in a grind core horror movie that you can’t escape from whilst nursing the worst hangover of your life.

Upsilon Acrux (and by the way, the name doesn’t mean anything at all) are probably scaring the living daylights out of somebody who thinks ‘avant garde’ means the first Velvet Undergound album as we speak. Their angular, spluttering sound marks them apart from even the most alternative of mainstream music, but ultimately much as we may need this kind of stuff to exist, listening is a distinctly unpleasant experience. Bet Graham Coxon likes it though.

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