The Physics House Band // Mercury Fountain
In the latest LP by The Physics House Band, the Brighton trio take their brand of psych-meets-math and grow it into a refreshing, mature sound. The outfit have progressed into a warmer place, adding more synthesizers, more groove, and becoming less eclectic in the process.
Known for sky-shattering anthems like ‘Titan’, the group have been a staple of the math rock scene in the UK, creating spiky, energetic sets that invoke images of Three Trapped Tigers, Rush, and Russian Circles. Active since 2011, the three have quickly swarmed, playing all across the country and garnering the support of star studded fans such as Stewart Lee.
For math-heads, the genre’s influence has largely mutated into an 80’s prog-meets-electronica behemoth, swinging with tones and patterns reminiscent of Digitalism, Four Tet, and Metronomy. However, they’ve expanded their sound greatly since Horizons / Rapture, becoming more catchy and rhythmic; long gone are the days of acid-jazz jams like ‘Abraxical Solapse’, instead replaced by smooth, rolling tracks like ‘The Astral Wave’. The album eases in with ‘Mobius Strip’, a beautifully swelling song that forebears the beast that is ‘Calypso’. For every crazy lick the band hold back, two more unforgettable ostinatos take its place, rolling forward through into ‘Holy Caves’ and the Tool-esque prog-metal creature that is ‘Surrogate Head’.
No track loses pace here; every slow moment punctuates the tapestry of the album, flowing like mercury between your fingers, poisonous to the touch.