Emil Amos — he of Grails, recently of Om, always of Holy Sons — is one of those “poly-istic” people: polyrhythmic musician/arranger; polymath with gear and instrumentation; polymorphous band-wise and handling it well. He’s probably a fully color-wheeled synaesthesiac, too. The guy’s inner transmitter never switches off.
A collision of hardcore and classic AM radio jams, Amos’s earliest of thousands of recordings were lo-est of the lo-fi, and by 2003’s quietly genius I Want To Live A Peaceful Life, his dark hauntings were blowing torn and tapestried wormholes through the weird folk stratosphere. During Holy Sons’ numerous transitions over the years, he’s immersed himself in eastern euro krautrock, meditative tabla psych, Turkish bazaar prog, proper yacht rockin’, and beyond. In short, dude is a full-blown wizard. (Think the gatekeeper robe he dons with Om is a joke? Think again.)
Survivalist Tales! is Chapter Nine in the Holy Sons’ space-time-continuum codex. Opening and closing with deep dub drone-outs weary of bartering with reason, the heft of Survivalist’s songs are huffed-up Pink Floyd-ian pop capitulating on Godley & Creme’d beats and space oddity sci-fi (“Payoff,” “Look Of Pain,” “Reckless Liberation,” “Slow Days”), sent aloft by Crazy Horse guitar flourishes that hit hard no matter the altitude (“Golden Child,” “Deprivation Thrills”). Amos’s harmonic incantations are again adrift on introspection, ominous self-reminders, and realizations that all gravitational pulls are relative (“A Chapter Must Be Closed”). The lone cosmic cosmonaut has a coda now, a grounded-ness of both insight and aim: “A chapter must be closed / it can’t go on and on and on / and on and on…”