The verbosely-titled debut LP from Nanaimo’s local psych-rockers is as ambitiously-named as it is ambitiously orchestrated. The name brings about images of some sci-fi rock epic, and to some degree this could very well be the soundtrack to an intergalactic outing. Musically, the album draws from the well of psych-rock and post-rock, with a heavy focus on guitars above all else. The band also doesn’t seem to factor in restraint — and that isn’t a bad thing. A band that isn’t afraid to put eight-minute tracks alongside two-minute ones shows a certain amount of courage.
The album opens in a big way (emphasis on big) with the eight-minute “Trinity Test,” which slowly brings in the band’s signature heavy guitar assault. It begins with the sound of rushing water, then what sounds like sitar, followed by booming, deep, reverbed vocals and then the all-out guitar assault, vocal-less, for at least five minutes straight. “Slumper” continues that assault, thought with a full verse-worth of vocals to begin it.
There’s a slight reprieve, and a welcome one, with the also-verbose “Nauseating Headache Over Great Pyramids’ Monster Guard” and then “High Water Mark,” one of the album’s highlights. This sees the band taking on a slightly more post-rock vibe, keeping the intensity but not requiring the brutal guitars to do so.
“Mathematics of Happiness” makes a good centrepiece, starting off quiet and making the transition back into loud. It almost sounds like something that wouldn’t be out of place on a Holy Fuck record.
“Theme from ‘Zombie Ants'” amps things back up heavily for a full-on eight-minute guitar attack, which continues on into “Why Am I Normal?” which also brings in vocals which hadn’t been present since “Slumper.” Finally, “Trinity Test (Slight Return)” revisits the first song and acts like a reverse slice of the opener, beginning with heavy guitars and ending on the familiar opening sound of rushing water.
While, sure, the long instrumentals sometimes go on a little long, Mission Collapse is a thoroughly enjoyable excursion to an outer musical space.
Top Tracks: “Trinity Test”: “High Water Mark”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)