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7/10

Pilgrim Fathers - Dr Niall Bombast…

6 January 2009 at 20.24

Pilgrim Fathers - Dr Niall Bombast… Cover

Though this EP’s preposterous name lets slip that these Nottingham prog-loons have a sense of humour...

Though this EP’s preposterous name (‘Dr Niall Bombast (Black) & His Tight Minded Scope Trooper (Dog)’) lets slip that these Nottingham prog-loons have a sense of humour, it’s nonetheless relieving when its 14-minute, 40-second title track turns out not to be a wearying mass of widdly solos and conceptual blather, but actually kind of fun. All clean, crunchy metallics and satisfyingly meaty crescendos – with just a soupcon of spacey electronic haze for contrast – this is prog at its most enjoyably visceral, least tediously art-school. Second track ‘Black Sail Pass’ doesn’t leave quite such an impression, but the concluding ‘The Unusual Woods’ really makes the EP, a loose, pagan-folk boogie, electronics heaved overboard in favour of the type of menacing harmonies and swampy brass that’d have Nick Cave twiddling his moustache in approval.

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