Frozen Planet....1969 - Meltdown on the Horizon (2019)
Coming less than half a year after the 'bonus track' EP of The Mystery Wheel, FP69's latest album shows the Australian three-piece rolling right along in high spirits and strong form. Popping off from the start with a 22-minute heavy psych monster jam (“Rollback”), the band cruises through mazes of reverb and mile-deep grooves, guided by clear-toned guitar noodling and propelled by Frank Attard's excellent work on the drums. Things are kept trippy and fun, the riffs are so thick you can practically sink your teeth into them, and the energy makes the third of an hour just fly by before you know it.
Slipping neatly into “Bellhop Shindig”, FP69 let loose with more intensity and distortion in their rocking. While the improvisational qualities are still evident, throttling back to about a third of the opening song's length leads to a more focused ride, with the circling around the main riff creating an almost centrifugal compulsion. Flowing from there to the more laid-back, bluesy “Dandy Chai”, the album builds a sense of moving from near-chaos into more orderly arrangement, all while teasing a potential return to the rambunctious.
And with closing track “Sunset Variations”, which runs a quarter-hour by itself, that nuttiness does indeed rear its head back up. Keeping up the mellow vibes of “Dandy Chai” for the initial segment, more and more psych wildness seeps in as the song progresses. A midway fade-out doubles as a fake-out before the band rides back in on a tear of guitar, and grooves their hearts out until the eventual end. For fans of FP69, it's a sweet treat, delivering almost an hour of in-the-zone action. Those new to the group may want to start with something offering more easily digestible serving sizes, though, at least until they get a sense of how the stuff goes down. Either way, it's another chunk of excellent work from this always-reliable crew, so if you want a physical copy, you'll need to act now.
For Fans Of; Fatso Jetson, Mondo Drag, Mother Engine, Pangalactic, Terminal Cheesecake