Fatal/Error – Droidsattack

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This Mad City-based trio is one of the best surprises of the year so far. Singer/guitarist Brad Van, bassist Nate Bush and drummer Tony Brungraber produce an amorphous miasma of spacey psych-punk. Van’s hydra-headed guitar work exhibits the best of both worlds here, facile and sticky lead lines whipping around massive chord progressions. They squeeze a lot out of the songs, drawing from early 70s hard rock as much as early 90s noise rock, and finding their own corridor of space between the two eras.

The ten-minute opener, “The Lord,” is like several tracks rolled into one, with thunderous, bombastic passages cross pollinated with a tough-ass psych workout. “Malachi Crunch” dredges up a litany of early 90s noise-manglers. And on “Dope Smuggler,” Van comes off like a Jones Very-era Vic Bondi. Stoner-friendly “Steven Seagal” even smacks of early Rollins Band, before Henry went totally me(n)tal. “Scythe in the Fire” is a dynamo of taut energy, like Grand Funk Railroad on bad steroids, that turns into a fucking hailstorm of cosmic guitar dust. While many tracks will light up the same dendrites as the bands they mimic, Fatal/Error demands a close listen. Despite the communal head space they share with Monster Magnet, Drunk Horse, Spirit Caravan, Fireball Ministry, Nova Driver or any other band you might name of the mind-already-altered persuasion, one doesn’t need any dope to feel the euphoric effects of Droidsattack, and, ultimately, to see through their opaque veil of reality. These lads are as good as any of the above. Great cover art by Van as well.