Ten Million Aliens
10 Million Aliens: “Road Trip (Fall of the Rebel Angels)”
Occasionally something comes out of nowhere and leaves you wondering just why something so radically different and exhilarating sounds so totally obvious.
10 Million Aliens is the latest collaboration from ex Red Guitar and record producer John Rowley with his long time collaborator and musical shaman John Senior. (Hull’s Two Johns?) They have worked quietly and consistently making records and contributions to a huge number of bands in their orbit and Senior actually scored and played on tracks with The Voice runner up Sally Barker though there is little of that in this, their latest astonishing release.
Their professed desire to get back to an earlier type of recording where musical competency and improvisation are fundamental in creating the excitement of the classic albums of the 60 and 70s has been accomplished with the recruitment of another of their long time collaborators Rich Banks on bass and guitar. The resulting album is a worth listening to simply for the fact that while the tracks snag you instantly, they then trip you up time and time again with a constantly changing kaleidoscope of ideas and styles. From rockabilly played with township guitar to Cuban jazz, Boogie Woogie, Funk and Electro Pop, the range and ability of Senior simply takes your breath away while Banks sneaks in with sublime contributions in every style.
To call Road Trip a concept album would be to condemn it to the genre of 70s twaddle much loved by fans of Prog Rockers, Yes and the like. However this is something else. Whether it’s just good fortune that they have completed this in the same year that Hull celebrates its status of City of Culture is a moot point but the fact that America has a new president of catastrophic implications lends a certain knowingness to the album that they could never have predicted.
Road trip (Fall of the Rebel Angels) is a catalogue of dystopian America. Each track taking a theme and supercharging it musically in Hot Rod style. They tackle the constitution, fast food, civil rights, rock and roll, cars, guns and alien abduction with a breathtaking range of musical styles and ideas. The whole is a blistering mix of musical bravado, stunning playing and fantastic narratives that take you straight into the heart of the beast.
Ten Million Aliens do something new and exhilarating while blowing you away with those old fashioned competencies of ability, style and musical nous. They take a musical idea and do that thing so rare today of jamming and improvising to take it to levels that simply take you aback. The playing of and arrangements of John Senior leave you to wonder why we have never heard from him before while Banks’ guitar and bass grooves are so damn funky they make you want to walk out in public wearing Polyester flares. Ten Million Aliens are the new kids on the block and you need to spend some time in their company. There is so much more to come from this line up and I for one can hardly wait!
It’s the roller coaster that you need to get on board!
Ryan Clay “Dark Star”