Serves up all your classic rock and roll goodies

Pilots of Baalbek is a Canberra combo who worship the halcyon rock days of the 1970s, when guitar-based bands strode like giants across the fields and arenas of the world.

The particular focus of their attention is psychedelia, fattened up with heavy stoner grooves and showered with a wealth of classic influences. Pilots of Baalbek have delved deep into their 70s rock collection and pulled  together a rich, cosmic melange that goes everywhere from spacey Hawkwind-like moments to straight-up Australian boogie rock and garage proto-punk. It was on Alchemist’s Austral Alien where chief pilot Adam Agius came closest to experimenting with psychedelic grooves in the past. Uncontrolled Airspace is the full flowering of those long-held aspirations.

From the opening moment, this album is full-blown rock, all heady grooves, high-octane riffs and gravelly, snarled vocals as Pilots of Baalbek throw themselves into various shapes of 70s rocking. Billy sounds like early BÖC doing an homage to Detroit. Rippin’ kicks off with a riff that could have come from Dirty Deeds and 59225 borrows from Rose Tattoo. It’s Cold is straight-up Status Quo worship, albeit with spaced-out synths swooping in and out; Off the Planet is a straight-ahead punked-out garage rocker. It’s not totally retro either – We’ve Come For the Gold rocks out like something from the playbooks of Nashville Pussy or the Supersuckers and Looking Glass throws an upbeat shuffle beat, swirly synths, an outrageously bouncy riff and a firey guitar solo into a rock n roll blender for flat-to-the-floor rocking results.

Loads of bands are cranking the retro rocking thing now and making a complete hash of it. Pilots of Baalbek is not one of them. Uncontrolled Airspace serves up all your classic rock and roll goodies in the one psychedelic winged-brick package. Just let it smash you in the face.

  1. Billy
  2. It’s Cold
  3. Kaptain Kenju
  4. Rippin’
  5. Gravitational Pull
  6. 59225
  7. Da Loop
  8. Off the Planet
  9. Looking Glass
  10. We’ve Come For the Gold
  11. Got it Wrong
  12. George’s Hair
  13. Outta Space