Hyper Rituals by Girl Sweat Pleasure Temple Ritual BandRelease date: March 24, 2018
Label: Evil Hoodoo Records.
If you’ve ever encountered Girl Sweat live in his psychotic one man garage disco explosion form then you’ll have most likely observed that he’s a man seemingly untroubled by self doubt. Not shy about filling up the sonic or physical space where the rest of the band might usually be with his own flailing exhortations, not about to rest until you are, at a bare minimum, entertained. The expanded Girl Sweat Pleasure Temple Ritual Band is a seven piece here (although it has been up to 13 people) and it intensifies and multiplies the elements of his sound into a huge and wildly speeding juggernaut.
In a filthy, corrupted world of lies and illusions it’s so hard to know what to believe in these days. Sweat knows, he’s a true believer in the soul shaking, transformational power of rock ‘n’ roll. Not the tired and tiresome ‘real music’ on ‘proper instruments’ dullardry clutching ever tighter to rock’s cultural corpse, but the electric energy and numinous possibility of its vital life force. Fittingly enough this album was recorded live at Mill Unitarian Chapel in Leeds, the three long tracks rolling together as one celebration.
It opens with a swirl of noise and immediately he’s channelling the spirit of Rob Tyner, chanting out the ‘Mantra of The Pleasure Temple’ “Do it. Be It. Sweat. Again”, previously streaming here at Echoes and Dust – it’s loose limbed and irresistible, a shamanic-garage-motorik-clank. It’s like a cosmic krautrock Fall, what if Mark E. Smith really was Damo Suzuki? It’s not that Girl Sweat fears or avoids rock cliché far from it, he marches right up and kisses it on the forehead, embraces it for what it is.
They perform in flowing robes and ‘Rite To Power’ has an accompanying video that goes overboard on a budget assortment of pretty much every well worn hoodoo/voodoo/ ritual signifier you can shake a schtick at. It can be initially off putting but trust them and get involved. They use it not as museum piece curiosity but as the lowly symbolic elements that feed the sacred fire. ‘Rite To Power’ starts with the kind of sonic shorthand for hoodoo doings that’s bubbled through rock since Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – ominous drums, hissing and distant screams give way to some diabolical screeching from Sweat (Russ to his mam) and about three minutes in it starts to chug along, about half way through it breaks down and bursts into a swaggering 70’s rock riff, driving drums and wild sax. It’s ridiculous and exhilarating.
Final track ‘The Incantation of Pleasure’ starts in a downpour of discordant organ before its booming caveman techno beat kicks in. By this point you really should be breaking free of your mortal bonds, punching the sky and screaming “YES!” but if you’re still not on board it pushes up a further gear and rattles off like a hyper speed version of Mother Sky. It’s ecstatic, joyous and truly psychedelic in a way that makes so much heavy psych sound lead footed and curdled. They even bring us all gently down for a warm group hug at the end. Hyper Rituals is absolutely righteous, hear the cosmos. “Do it. Be It. Sweat. Again”.