Our Disintegrating Museum
Birmingham, England, the home of heavy metal. A city with such heritage that nearly all rock and metal bands that come into being are inevitably judged against the standards that city has commanded. While not exactly cut of the same cloth, be it leather or steel, or even on an societal or political level, it’s no surprise that Io, a four piece from this key area of the Midlands, should live up to the Second City’s fine reputation for high standards.
‘Our Disintegrating Museum‘ is Io’s third album. I can’t yet compare it to the first two, because this is the first time they’ve appeared on my radar, thanks to their kind submission. Seemingly an innocuous, if effective, alternative metal band at first with a groovy hearty riff, the first signs of progressiveness appear roughly halfway through ‘The Lost Cosmonaut’ and even wade in an appropriately spacey section in which ‘la, la-la-la‘s are sung across a star-lit tinkling of the guitars. The next song ‘The Cisco Kid’, starts off in hip swaggering mood, before roaring into life, and the magic moments keep coming, particularly a horn section in ‘I’ll Need A Diagram, which strangely evokes fond visions of Madness jamming it in the background as the band which asks everyone ‘compose yourself/let’s practice that human behaviour we talked about’.
Several listens in, and it shine hasn’t worn off. I’m taken away by that post-rock section in the closer ‘Voyage of the Alecton’, which comes forth to carry you home atop an astral plain destined for the horizon, only to drop you back into the swell for one more heavyweight riff, marrying post-rock atmospherics with jarring riffs in holy matrimony. It rounds off an accomplished body of work, one that isn’t afraid to experiment, but doesn’t overcomplicate matters either. Io are worthy of greatness, though only time will tell if anyone pays attention. But in a year that has already seen a meteor explode (thankfully without fatalities) in the sky and an asteroid race past at record proximity in quick succession, Io are just one more reason to lie back and stare at our ever changing skies with delight.
Buy/download ‘Our Disintegrating Museum‘ here
Stream it below: