November 20, 2002

Spaceheads "Low Pressure"

For those that know, Spaceheads are a pleasure to behold. Andy Diagram and Richard Harrison are the only two heads in this space, but you'd not know it from their records. Both men are veterans of interesting bands (James, Blue Orchids, Nico, Dog-Faced Hermans, to name but a few) and have been making music together for most of the past decade. Those early records were good, but not nearly as amazing as 1999's amazing Angel Station. That album is red hot and fast paced--utterly relentless in its beats, loud in its trumpets, and an awesome dance/jazz/funk combo rarely seen before.

Low Pressure is a much mellower affair. Gone are Angel Station's relentless, frantic beats and trumpet blasts, replaced with a warm electronic heartbeat and much more sedate, elegant trimpet playing. Those louder moments are found in "On a Clear Day" and "Storm Force 8," but for the most part, we're talking a kinder, gentler Spaceheads. At times, such as on "The Hut" and "Over The Moon," Spaceheads sound not unlike Drums & Tuba, a band who makes no bones about Spaceheads' influence, and who wrote an excellent Spaceheads-sounding tribute called "The Diagram."

Despite its slower pace, Low Pressure is still quite a pleasant album. After all, the band certainly had its work cut out for them when it came time to follow up such an amazing record. I'll be straight-up and say that Low Pressure didn't move me at first. Why? Because my expectations were high. Sure, it's my fault for setting my expectations so high, but at the end of the day, and in light of their overall genius, who could blame me?

--Joseph Kyle

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