Stellarscope – Call Me Destroyer

Stellarscope - Call Me Destroyer

Stellarscope’s This Is Who We Are album was released in February and this EP is a follow up of sorts; not quite a new full release but far from merely outtakes from the album sessions either. If the album had an overall feel to it, it was one of Stellarscope displaying a lightness of touch which balanced their weightier moments with some practised skill. A lo-fi approach to some mesmeric guitar tunes that placed emphasis on their songwriting and brought an evocative, actually retrospective air to some proper rock tunes.

The four tracks on Call Me Destroyer are a little different. They certainly sound different. The guitars are louder and carry more depth, the drums and bass are bigger. The subtleties of This Is … put to one side as Stellarscope turn it up louder, shifting from ethereal dream-pop to a more direct approach that starts in mathrock and has similar twists and spirals to their earlier 2010 release, except everything is taken on a larger scale – production, musicianship, and attitude.

“The Age To Come” shifts perceptibly between edgily clipped rhythm and bursts of contorted thrash guitar, and ends with an abruptness missing from what I heard from Stellarscope previously. It has the edgy quality of a demo track that was too good to disregard. “Is It Me?” is an altogether more composed track; its purposefully timed intro and relatively lengthy guitar solo break sees Stellarscope developing a prog dimension to their songs that was perhaps kept aside from the less dense soundscapes of This Is … Final track “killstealliedie” is a ferocious slice of no-wave nihilism, taken at a breakneck pace and every bit as desperate and discordant as the 80s Manhattan art-punk it perhaps takes inspiration from. My personal favourite of the four is however the second track, “This Is Something New” and, while its the track that most closely resembles the approach of their earlier work, it’s also Stellarscope combining their sometimes conflicting energies with skill and imagination – the lightness of the intro colliding with the monolithic powerchordage of the songs chorus, and the way in which its melody fractalises throughout the song’s slightly too brief three (exactly three) minutes.

Where many bands performing music of a similar style choose to emphasise the country and folk sides of their music, Stellarscope take the psyche-pop template and add to it a metallic intensity. I think it’s sometimes known as spacerock, but Stellarscope somehow exist outwith categorisation, and both they and their songs contain more than just an element of originality.

Listen to the full “Call Me Destroyer” EP