Sons of Selina – Terminus EP
Cat No: DELEC CDS 037
The Welsh band Sons of Selina, a satellite of planet Delerium, irradiate vibrations of cosmic rock with an original style deriving from Hawkwind co-ordinates. “Terminus”, “Relapse” and “Fire In The Hole”, likely anticipation of their announced second album “Fire In The Hole”, lead to surreal ambients blooming in psyche technologies – keyboards, synths, guitars and rhythm webs – able to tell of fascinating trips of visionary “space-rock” mythology.
For some, Sons Of Selina may need a small intro: they’re a Welsh, rather strange-sounding psych band with Neil Birchall as founder / songwriter / singer. He spent his youth in various punk bands until the late eighties, when he started experimenting in a local studio. Out of one of these experiments grew the Sons Of Selina, who recorded a cassette and a few singles before releasing “Nour D’Oui”, a first album on Delerium in ’94. This LP sounded like a never-before heard dark, threatening mix of ice cold punk / new wave and heavy, bud-trip space rock with cynical social lyrics: a very impressive formula indeed. The “Terminus EP” is an appetiser for “Fire In The Hole”, a new album that will come out in ’96. The “Terminus EP” features three tracks (23 minutes) all emitting the same massive, dark science fiction atmosphere of doom and desparation, with keyboards and guitars shreiking out of control, and Birchall’s vocals sounding like the prophet of death (in “Terminus” and the 9-minute, fantastic “Fire In The Hole”). “Relapse” sounds a lot calmer, but it’s razor sharp lyrics turn it into something pretty schitzophrenic again. A very recommended EP, a real dark trip and a solid preview of their new album.
Terminus is a surprisingly nice little three-song EP. The Sons Of Selina are remindful of an aggressive Hawkwind meets Trisome 21. “Fire In The Hole” moves nicely, via sequencing, into “Relapse” – a quirky gem. The title cut is on the spacey side, and features some very bizarre vocals. All in all, this EP is a fine introduction to an intruiging little band. Check it out!
Another Delerium winner. This 3 song CD-EP is cream-of-the-crop material. The 1st and title track leaps out at you heavy / sci-fi / evil beat. “Fire In The Hole” & “Relapse” are strange, stunning and surreal – almost dreamlike. I believe this EP is part of the Forthcoming “Fire In The Hole” full length CD due to be released soon.
Here’s a turn up for the books. SONS OF SELINA are the spawn of Neil Birchall and assorted misfits. Birchall spent his youth playing in various punk bands, gigging all over the UK and eventually immersing himself in a local studio. The results of his experimentation became the SONS OF SELINA fusing punk & New wave with brooding progressive space rock.
The darlings of late night Radio One, they came to further attention with their signing to Delerium records and their first LP release ‘Nour D’Oui’ in August ’94. Kerrang described the band as a “New Model Army” sounding Welsh Space Rock gallop that thrusts right in your face. Metal Hammer called them one of the best new acts of ’94 and one to watch ut for in the future.
Continuing their war against blandness, they possess an energy and dark humour that blooms on the “Terminus” EP, a diverse release that at times sounds like a Hard Rock Hawkwind and at other times a ska infected Spacemen 3, moving from melody to insanity, from screaming volume to laid back angst. SONS OF SELINA defy catagorisation but like many Delerium signings, they embody the Progressive Rock philosophy and their awsome musical strength is evident as they move from powerful harmonies and aggressive emotions through to ambient and melodic electro skadub, managing to incorporate the screaming lead guitar histrionics of Metal with the four on the floor, head down and balls to the wall beats of early punk. The result is astounding. Just 3 tracks here, all from their forthcoming LP release “Fire In The Hole”. This is an inexpensive way to taste the unknown quality of SONS OF SELINA and get a feel for the next wave of guitar based rock that is rekindling interest across Europe.
This EP is a bit of an enigmatic release, coming with no band or lineup information at all. The disc contains three songs, totalling 23 minutes. The music on the first two tracks features a driving, grunge-y alternative-rock sound with a slight prog bent and a strong lead synth presence. Distorted vocals, grating noise and feedback mingle with heavy guitar riffs and a metalish rhythmic insistence, and these songs almost come across as the kind of eclectic new rock one is likely to find on a college radio station. The third track, however, is quite a bit different; a mellow and spacey Gong-like song with the Daevid Allen-like mantra “I’m so happy”. The overall effect of the EP is perhaps akin to a heavier and contemporary variation on a band like Here & Now, with their mix of space prog and punk sensibility. It’s not apparent from this short EP which, if either, element is more telling of the Sons Of Selina’s musical heart, but Terminus is probably intriguing enough to warrant checking out future releases from this band. RW
This nearly 20 minute long release from Sons Of Selina, successor to their Nour D’Oui debut, is probably one of the most bizarre things to have recently appeared in my “Review tray”. The CD has just 3 songs, but they are as different as Queen Elizabeth and Paul Gascoigne. The opening cut Terminus can be followed quite well, if you’re English is ok, and for non-English speakers is also remarkably enjoyable. Fire In The Hole, the next song, is less suited for inexperienced ears. The Sons of Selina make this tune into one of oppression, a confronting cacophony of sounds, slowly building around a driving bass-line. The space-like sounds gradually flies round the bend.
But, just when you start to wonder if there might be something wrong with the pressing, suddenly the final epic Relapse begins. A chill-out of nine minutes, almost ambient, with a sub-skin tension which could make a dog cry. The Terminus EP by Sons of Selina is a very confusing record. The psychedelics of the next century?