Loop - Heaven's End LP
Loop formed in the mid '80s around the axis of frontman Robert Hampson with drummer John Wills and bassist Neil MacKay, embracing a claustrophobic, black leather take on space rock powering through the motorik grooves of the Krautrock pioneers and the juggernaut riffs from the MC5 and the Stooges. Loop would find themselves embroiled in a rivalry with fellow British psyche-rock iconoclasts Spacemen 3. While the acrimony may have been hyped more than was truly present, Loop and Spacemen 3 did develop into much better bands perhaps through this rivalry while veering along different career paths. During the early days from both projects, the rhythm section locks into one hell of a memorable riff, punctuated by tremolo-delayed guitar squeals, whammy-bar bent melodies and snarled vocals of variable states of intelligibility. Buzz, noise, drugs, booze and black energy went into both, with Spacemen 3 steering towards a transcendent bliss and Loop plunging into the heart of darkness. Heaven's End is the debut for Loop and is the only album that closely shares a collective sensibility with Spacemen 3. The opening track "Soundhead" with its spirited psyche-noise grooves became an eponym for Loop die-hards, which is also the name of band's fanclub. "Straight To Your Heart" and the album's title tracks are quintessential Loop as Hampson alternates between vocals and his throttled, wah-wah guitar solos as Willis and MacKay propel through their cosmic machined space-rock heaviness. The album draws to a perfect end with a sample from 2001, A Space Odyssey of the computer Hal stating in monotone: "My mind is going." An absolutely essential album!