Black Space Riders – Light Is The New Black

By Jason Wellwood

Kicking off with ‘Creatures of No Light (Exodus Part 1)’, Light Is The New Black seems to be ushering in a more laid back, possibly more psychedelic Black Space Riders. It’s a captivating, head bobbing song that sees the band grab onto a groove and ride it through catchy riffs and vague but slightly menacing lyrics from JE. Once again, the band let’s you know exactly what they are about right off the bat. By the time you hit ‘Digging Down (The Hole Part One…From Deep Below)’ any thoughts that Black Space Riders have decided to slow things down though, are gone. The heavy, hard rocking fury has returned and slides effortlessly into ‘I Am Fire’ where JE’s vocals wind up into a spittle flying threat that leaves no doubt in your mind he would, in fact, ‘kick you out of here’.

Black Space Riders music conjures images of greasy, leather clad space pirates telling stories of conquest and spacial distortion surfing in a dingy space pub that looks like a cross between The Rainbow Bar & Grill on the Sunset Strip circa 1988 and a working class Birmingham Pub from the late 70’s. The stereo effects that JE and SLI use with their guitars this time around makes this an essential headphones album, JE’s baritone guitar in the left channel for the most part while SLI takes over the right channel. During ‘Louder Than Light’ both men play baritone and it is just an incredibly thick sound sliding back and forth between your ears. Again, I HIGHLY recommend checking this out on headphones.

As the album progresses you just can’t help but lose yourself in the mix of sleaze rock, stoner vibe and space psychedelia. The rhythm section of SAQ and CRIP know how to take a groove and stay in the pocket then quickly step out and give just enough embellishment to make your ears perk up, only to slide right back into that groove once again. Seemingly effortless, but obviously these fellas are all serious about their instruments and their songs.
If I was heading to a pub in space, there is no doubt in my mind that I’d be picking the one that uses Black Space Riders as its house band. This is dirty psychedelic space sleaze at its finest.

(Rough Trade)

I am the station manager and loud rock director for CILU, 102.7fm in Thunder Bay. I also host four weekly 'loud rock' shows: Blowing Up The Lakehead: Monday 10pm-1am EST which plays loud rock from around the world, regardless of genre, subgenre or label affiliation. CanKnuckle Tracks: Tuesday 10pm-1am EST, plays Loud Rock by ONLY Canadian Independent bands.Anarchy In The TBay: Wednesday Midnight-1am, all punk. The Happy Go Lucky Old Time Metal Hour: Thursday Midnight-1am, old school loud rock, nothing newer than 1990.