Timing is everything, and veteran South London noiseniks Part Chimp have certainly learned to take their time during their cantankerous on-off existence.
Back together for their first album since 2009, the listener is immediately invited to savour the glorious downward spiral of opener "Namekuji". Don’t be thrown by the wonky jazz piano riff that serves as the intro though, because what lurks beyond is a full-blooded pugilistic bassline that tees up one of the band’s trademark twin guitar attacks.
The tune descends – at its own bloody-minded pace, of course – down down down as you enter Part Chimp's own personal hell. And when singer Tim Cedar snarls the chorus of "YEAHHHH…", I defy you not to think Kurt Cobain at his pessimistic teen-spirited best.
The first three songs afford Part Chimp the time to spread out and enjoy the power of their acerbic riffs, and as the tunes push and pull against each other they really serve as a set of differing moods within one epic jam, rather than separate pieces. If you caught them at the Raw Power festival last year, you’ll already have savoured the band’s expansive power when they unwind and let their tunes develop into something epic.
But Iv is not all fuzzy skull-rattling stoner jams. Repeated listens (especially those at high volume) reveal a clever use of melody and a clever structural awareness. In reality, they’re miniature sludge symphonies – all composed in the key of B, incidentally – which effortlessly fit the narrative of Cedar’s distorted and woozy singing.
The album’s standout track is "Ro Ro". It’s where things get truly interesting as the guys turn up the distortion and the volume. Channelling the cosmic rock vibes of Acid Mothers Temple and the propulsion of Kyuss, it’s an onslaught not to be missed.