Sons Of Selina - "Fire In The Hole"
(Delerium 1999, DELEC CD 050)
From Aural Innovations #7 (July 1999)
After a nearly five year wait the space punkin' Sons Of Selina have released their second CD. Well, I should mention that the band has had several cassettes on the Music & Elsewhere label and indeed I recognized four of the tracks on Fire In The Hole from earlier cassette releases. But this is a properly produced recording that turns the heavy rockin' Sons' music into a full blown assault. This is seriously aggressive music that is just freaky enough and has just enough synth-mania to earn it a place in the space realm. On Fire In The Hole, the Sons are Neil Birchall on vocals, bass, keyboards, samples, and loops, Steve Robins on vocals, keyboards and synths, Robin Hemuss on bass, acoustic and electric guitars, and keyboards, Steve Jones on acoustic and electric guitars, Martin Wilding on guitars, and Alan Matthews on drums.
Fire In The Hole is a mixture of tunes, some of which many might think are a bit wimpy for the Sons, and others which are pure 'rip your heart out' brain-crushing rock. On the lighter side, "For Want Of A Better Name" is the opening track and starts with a sequenced techno pattern that soon blasts into a tune which is absolutely not techno. It kind of sounds like Simple Minds if that band were psycho rockers. "Our Glass" is a good track though a bit on the mainstream side. "Once Bitten" is another lighter moment though it shows that the guys can really write songs. The vocals still have that 'I'll rip yer head off' edge but the music is dreamier than typical Sons. But then you read the lyrics and realize this isn't exactly a love song. And "The Last Ditch" is a dance instrumental that reminded me of Ultravox.
Those are good tunes. I like them. But... there's still plenty of pure balls to the wall Sons Of Selina freakout 'fry yer brains to shit head-bangin'. Among the highlight tracks are "Terminus", which is classic thrashing Sons rock. "On The Horns Of A Dilemma" and "Kalgan" are total heavy metal spacerock freakouts. "As Clear As Mud" will set your heads to bangin' with its Hawkwind robotic voice, mixed with the Sons insane screaming vocals. "Shower Scene From Carrie" starts off sounding like a horror music theme song, but develops into another kick ass rocker. I can picture a whole crowd at a concert all singing "Isn't that a shame! Isn't that a shame!" And then there's the title track, "Fire In The Hole". Move over Hawkwind. The ultimate cosmic space metal bashers are here. This song has got to be the heaviest and spaciest tune I've heard from the Sons yet. Bashing guitars, pounding drums, and twiddling synths.
Fire In The Hole isn't a whole lot different than Nour D'oui but is a perfect companion to it. Highest recommendation to those who like to head bang in the cosmos. Oh, I can't close without mentioning the cover. It depicts a pair of female legs almost up to the crotch. And a little white string is hanging down from the crotch. Fire In The Hole... Nuff said...
You can visit the Sons Of Selina at their Delerium Records web site.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz