Ben Carr must have found a 96 count Crayola pack in his backpack in the seven years since 5ive’s last full length, The Telestic Disfracture, because the guitarist’s sonic palette has broadened appreciatively.
The David Gilmour of modern sludge (suck it, Syd apologists) augments his accustomed somnambulant blacks and prickly oranges with streaks of lush lush greens and soothing blues that marked Carr’s more abstract and contemplative solo work in The Theory of Abstract Light.
The duo, completed by skin pounder Charles Harrold, has not been completely dormant the last year, putting out a handful of splits and the masterful 5ive’s Continuum Research Project EP as well as the obligatory remixes by Justin Broadrick and James Plotkin, but the intense focus that goes into a 5ive full length is a rare treat.
Setting thematic sail to Longfellow's poem, "The Wreck of the Hesperus," the tale of a ship run aground in Massachussets, 5ive set the turbulance of a hurricane battered ship to pyschedelically sludgy music.
Hesperus kicks out its jams with an unexpected jolt, opener “Gulls” sounding like Matt Pike should be doing a guest spot. But what sets 5ive apart is its impressive flow; songs surge and wane, perfect for an album that takes cues from a nautical poem. While the sea as a metaphor has been beaten to death in recent years, 5ive’s tightly focused jams conjure the sounds of raging surf and placid aquatic sunsets effortlessly, and the duo manage to successfully navigate the treacherous shoals of stoner rock without crashing into the Norman’s Woe of bad ‘70s retread