Release Date: Jul 24, 2015
Record label: ATP
Genre(s): Alternative Pop/Rock
After a 25-year gap since 1990's A Gilded Eternity, Array 1 is but the first of three releases planned by the U.K. band Loop over the next year. Four tracks explore their studio space over 32 minutes, each progressively and intriguingly more experimental..
Loop’s last LP, A Gilded Eternity, has come to be somewhat ironically titled – it being 24 years since that album’s release. Now the band mark the return with several “bulletins”, of which the four-song Array 1 is the first. It begins with the insistent riffery and polyrhythmic drumming of Precession, on which guitarist/vocalist Robert Hampson’s wobbly-chorus vocals shudder and shift inside a forward-marching post-rock soundscape.
When speaking to Drowned In Sound at the tail end of 2013, Robert Hampson declared 'Loop is not a permanent reunion'. And he was right. As far as that particular line-up of the band was concerned anyway. Having committed the band to a number of live appearances over the next few months, Hampson announced that the other three members - guitarist Scott Dowson, bass player Neil Mackay and drummer John Wills - had left and Loop would be disbanding.
In 2013, 23 years after the band released their third album, Loop were reactivated by leader Robert Hampson. During the dormancy, Hampson built a remarkable discography that went farther out and pushed traditional rock to the margins, first with Main -- originally in collaboration with Loop guitarist Scott Dowson -- and then under his own name. The Loop lineup heard on A Gilded Eternity was reintroduced at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival at Camber Sands in East Sussex, England and played some additional dates.
For psych rock fans, the return of Loop in 2013 definitely got the heart rate racing. Once a triumphant U.S. tour was completed, the question then became: will the band record new music? With Array 1, the first in a series of EPs, we have the answer. Amazingly, the quartet – still led by guitarist/vocalist Robert Hampson, otherwise featuring new players – picks up right where it left off with its last album, 1990’s A Gilded Eternity.