‘Chorus’ opens like there are creatures trying to claw and rip their way into our world from another dimension or No Thee No Ess have tuned a radio into an ethereal station. But it soon settles into a song that is driven along on by propulsive drums and gravel drive bass that stomp along menacingly underneath folk-like vocals which hover and chant above. They spin and twist together and join with psychedelic crescendos and climactic solar system battles with splashy, meteor strike drums.
No Thee No Ess are a collaboration between Paul Battenbough (The Cosmic Array, King of Despair) and Andy Fung (Derrero, Cymbient). They met in a Cardiff arts centre and discovered a shared love of The Beach Boys, Neil Young, and West Coast psychedelia. This track (and the Dimmer Switch album coming out in September) was recorded with musician/producer Frank Naughton at his Cardiff studio Ty Drwg. Like a trawler captain in tempestuous seas, he manages to work with the elemental forces packed into this track without capsizing the boat.
There’s a lot to love on ‘Chorus’: the sweet and sour jostling between rhythm section and vocals, the molten core of bass and drums that pulsates at the heart of the song, plus the robust clutter that pervades the whole track and should jar, but never does. There might be no thee or no ess but there’s plenty of effing joy pumping through this psycho-folk odyssey.
Review by Paul F Cook