Taman Shud – Viper Smoke Album Review
The London based purveyors of dark rock have created an addictive record in Viper Smoke; fittingly, online research on the band tends to just throw up pages on the unsolved Taman Shud case from the 40s, which would no doubt appeal to the band’s dark sensibilities.
The four piece have an interest in the occult and this carries through to the sound on the album with the moody yet tuneful rock mixed with psychedelic drones and unintelligible lyrics punctuating the murky washes of organ and twin bass. The feel is not otherworldly as such but certainly from the darker side of our world, somewhere infinitely more exotic than wherever we happen to be.
The record creates its own space, especially through headphones, an all encompassing spacey zone; the production – epic yet almost claustrophobic at the same time, the distorted vocals, twin bass and gothic atmosphere, create a place you don’t want to step out of, a space away from the banal and mundane, something all the best records manage.
This is a record that should be listened to in one sitting however there are a few tunes you tend to remember: the superb The Hex Inverted with its pounding bass and drums combo wrapped in distortion and intense vocals is a highlight, as is the punkier I Tego Arkana Dei and Crime Cycle (previously heard on the split with Fat White Family) has a spooky, odd rumbling in the background that makes you think someone is talking behind you. Fantastic.
Find the album on Bandcamp.