Album #150: Sonic Boom – All Things Being Equal

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Rugby, England
  • Label: Carpark
  • Best Track: My Echo, My Shadow and Me

Former Spacemen 3 frontman Peter Kember released his second solo album under the name Sonic Boom last Friday, a full 30 years on from his first.

Nearly an hour long, it’s a bit of a drone/space rock marathon and I have to admit I nearly gave up with it before the opening track ‘Just Imagine’ had finished. This might serve as a nice, tone-setting intro if it were two or three minutes long, but eight minutes? I’m all for krautrock intensity through repetition, but the for me the lyrics and melody of this one are too simple to be dragged out for that long.

I’m glad I persevered with it because it does get better. The spoken word of ‘Things Like This’ is jolting, and ‘Spinning Coins and Wishing on Clover’, along with album highlight ‘My Echo, My Shadow and Me’, have more intricate and haunting qualities, hence making better use of drone and repetition.

Overall, it’s a decent atmospheric record with some standout moments, but it does feel a tad stretched to me. Several tracks could be more effective if pared down a little, or alternatively it could’ve worked as a five- or six-track record that would still have clocked in at over half an hour.

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