For those fans too ADD to sit through any previous albums by 5ive, these Boston psych-drone warriors return with their most accessible and arguably their best album yet. Hesperus is the band’s first long-player since 2001’s Telestic Disfracture, with two EPs (2002’s The Hemophiliac Dream and 2004’s Versus) and a solo project (guitarist Ben Carr’s The Theory of Abstract Light) filling the void between releases. This 45-minute slab is immediately catchy, with each of its seven cuts conjuring a different metallic vibe than before.

Harnessing Josh Homme’s guitar tone from Kyuss, openers “Gulls” and “Big Sea” pummel the listener with chord after chord of what was once hailed (way before it was reviled) as ‘stoner’ riffage. Drummer Charlie Harrold is unrelenting in his approach, filling every nook with huge ride cymbal crashes and deep floor tom thumps, while Carr sails overhead with fiery, resonant strumming. “Kettle Cove” continues this controlled mayhem but is cut short before the three-minute mark to stand on its own as one of 5ive’s more abbreviated sonic forays.

“Heel” is less chaotic and almost ballad-like, with a recurring guitar chord similar to Mandible Chatter. Again, it is very short at barely two minutes before the tribal drumming of “Polar 78” begins. “News I” sports such a laid-back vibe that one might imagine Carr and Harrold zoning out during band practice with Kyuss’ Sky Valley on repeat, while “News II” reprises said formula with renewed vigor and muscular grace. Hesperus is 5ive’s instrumental take on Kyuss’ brilliant power and should be considered their finest effort yet.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Ayers
April 28th, 2008


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