Ilion (Sub Pop)
Slift are the dictionary definition of a power trio, a French ensemble with both the ambition to conceive expansive epics and the chops to pull it off. Prog, psych, post-rock, space rock, stoner, even post-hardcore – all are grist to Slift’s mill. The eight typically lengthy tracks on their third record reverberate with echoes of everyone from King Crimson and Elder to Lift To Experience, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs and Jane’s Addiction. At times, it’s as if Explosions In The Sky genuinely were the sound of planets detonating.
The title track lurches for the jugular from the off with astonishing foot-to-the-floor intensity, and the good ship Ilion goes on to navigate treacherously stormy seas. But there are also brief interludes of relative serenity in which to catch your breath, and the nimble basslines underpinning the likes of Nimh and Confluence demonstrate a lightness of touch, counterbalancing the titanic turbulence that is always looming large on the horizon.
words BEN WOOLHEAD