VCheka – VCheka
It's a ridiculous slogan on paper, perhaps, but VCheka’s self-described premise of 'Kraut math jazz' seems astute to the ear. An anomaly on the Scottish music scene, this elusive, forward-thinking Glasgow quartet rarely sound like a band operating in the here and now. In essence, they’re not; with internal disputes leaving them in limbo, it’s a miracle this album even saw the light of day. Still, disciples of progressive instrumental rock of all eras are bound to find hooks for weeks on this irresistible debut.
Its tendency towards muddy production is half the charm – see 1977 and Mesh – practically putting you in the room while they throw down an earthy, reverb-choked rehearsal. When vocals occasionally drift in they’re never the same on any two tracks; take the anguished wail of 1919, echoing Maynard James Keenan, or closing track Diminished, served with a snarling gusto frighteningly comparable to Alex Harvey. Whether they can find a way to resurface remains to be seen, but at last we have this absorbing document.