Official website: http://www.soundheads.org/
It's been almost 24 years to the day since loop last played Detroit and fans were treated Wednesday night to a sonic assault with their beautiful and, at times, punishing, swirling melodies.
Unfortunately, the turn out was pretty disappointing. In fact, band leader Robert Hampson even mentioned at one point "Detroit! Where are you?" He did seem a bit moody and even stopped one song due to technical difficulty and forced a re-start but his vocals and guitar playing were in fine form. I was pleasantly surprised that the vocals were so present and not awash in multiple layers of fuzz as he has such a gorgeous and nicely spooky voice. Bassist, Neil Mackay, played with his back to the crowd (or rather his face to the amp) the whole night with a trance like focus on delivering flawlessly the pulsing grooves that help define the band. (Selfishly, I wished he would have turned around since he was donning my band, Warhorses, T-shirt!) Guitarist, Scott Dowson, was equally as focused and delivered a solid, rhythmic vibe buttressing the wall of fuzz from stage left. And, for only having a few shows under his belt, drummer Wayne Maskell (The Heads, kandodo) who is replacing John Wills, did an amazing job pounding the skins.
Loop get defined as psych rock quite often, though they are much more than that, and even gave a nod to their kraut rock influences with the inclusion of Can's "Mother Sky" as their set closer.
Robert put it nicely in a 2008 interview with The Quietus :" I’ve never worn my influences on my sleeve but never shied away from them either, a little bit of Stooges or MC5 and also Krautrock and so on - it was hopefully quite original. People always said it was quite psychedelic but it’s not in any West Coast way. It’s more about inner space than outer space - more inwardly looking, whereas much of 60s psychedelia was more outward looking."
Inward, space rock soldiers!!
Thank you, LOOP, for stopping in Detroit and especially for the meditative beats that bring about a tribal sense of calm for me. Until next time....you'll be in my headphones...
P.s. It did feel like the set was a bit short (probably because I was enjoying it so much!) With any luck we will be treated to another visit from them soon.
-Thunderqueen writing for Motorcityblog