Review Summary: Fasten your seat-belt, you're in for a ride.
Not much was known about French cosmic stoner vanguard Slift until they blew up KEXP’s rented studio in Rennes not even a couple of months ago with their ecstatic, relentless explosions of interstellar krautrock and psychedelia. It doesn't mean that they are touring with Metallica as an opening act just yet but with Ummon
, their second release, they certainly paved the way for greater stages in the near future.
You have to see the way they unleash the thunder contained in the band’s sophomore when playing live. Chemistry, attitude, musicality... it’s all there! Jean Fossat is a true master of the SG art, oh yes, the ship captain knows how to make that guitar talk, scream, whisper and moan like a panther in heat. Brother Remi Fossat glues the bass both ways with steady resolve while Canek Flores runs the engines with a remarkable performance on the drum kit. The rhythm section is as tight as my ass cheeks as I write this some poor stream of consciousness manner, which will probably cost me my contributor tag, divorce and a few neighbour death threats on my door tomorrow.
But hang in there, we got all night, and it’s gonna be a long one, cause this thing clocks at 1 hour plus and all I have left to drink at home is the water from the plants. Ummon
is the trio’s second album. Unapologetic, atomic stoner from the crypt without much thought gone into production other than making the band sound like they do live. As such, Ummon
is a massive, unstoppable jam. It’s a moment captured in time for posterity, one of those that rarely happens twice. Trying to discern what’s premeditated and what is a spur of the moment is quite complicated. Slift takes the best of Motorpsycho, Elder and that band with the Russian astronaut name and expands on it in a manner that feels fresh, defiant and reassuring.
There are many, many good moments across the space rock odyssey that is Ummon
. Jean’s sweet vocals opening “Altitude Lake” and the Sleep-esque riff that follows along, the wild semi-improvised jam during “It’s Coming”, THAT drum beat in “Sonar”, and the uptempo punk feel of that titanic closer titled “Lions, Tigers and Bears” turned into a psychedelic stoner hymn only three minutes in.
Slift has crafted an album that truly earns the “hear to believe” tag. Ummon
it’s a ravaging, colourful journey that pushes and breaks through boundaries without production tricks of any kind, relying on a fantastic live performance to bring to life one of the best albums of the year. Believe!