The third album from The Delta Riggs is a masterful display of musical dexterity. With a clear departure from the cornucopia of psychedelic tangents that we saw on Dipz Zebazios towards something far more eclectic, the record plays host to a deluge of new influences for the band – from funk and groove to soul and 70s rock ‘n’ roll.
With tracks like Never Seen This Before bringing disco back with astonishing force, Baddest Motherfucker in the Beehive turning your walk down to the shops into an unabashed boogie, and Waiting For The Rain soothing your woes and granting the album a glorious slow-paced addition, there’s really nothing left to want from Active Galactic.
The Delta Riggs take things to dizzying new heights on Active Galactic, dabbling in druggy disco, 70s rock ‘n’ roll and elements of funk, soul and hip-hop.
This time introducing good friend Jason Hollis (from Punk Artistocrats) to the production line, the Riggs found themselves far removed from their usual recording process for album number three.
Producing their own work has been an integral part of the band’s foundation, yet with another pair of eyes and ears on the scene, it’s apparent that this judgement has helped them reach even greater heights.
Kids Are Alright is an immediate crowd pleaser with kicking riffs from both guitar sections, strong snare snaps, harmonies entwined with the raspy vocals from frontman Elliot Hammond.
With a departing screech of “cause everything is so fucked!” followed by a chorus line of “the kids are alright / with the bombs going off / they still sleep at night” we see The Delta Riggs entering the realm of social and political affairs with a fervour that we’ve seldom seen from the band.
This kind of writing style reflects a group that have ripened beautifully with age. “We are pretty set in the band that we are now and love the diversity we put out,” says bassist/backup vocalist Monte. “We don’t fit in any certain box. People always try to put others in a box. We have our own box and it’s bottomless.”
There is a strong theme of individuality that runs throughout Active Galactic and it coincides perfectly with this cemented theme of free creative reign. The Delta Riggs have always relished in being able to bend genres at will, and on Active Galactic they have taken this further than ever before.
Don’t Be Lonely is the kind of song you’ll have in your head for days after one listen, with vocals and guitar melodies working together to create a free-flowing essential soundtrack to your life. Get Right echoes the kind of badass funk grooves N*E*R*D dabbled in on In Search Of…
The inclusion of a brass section is perfectly timed and never overworked, and riffs are as addictively punchy on bass as they are on guitars. There are disco elements that clash with the kind of rock ‘n’ roll The Stones were punching out in the late 70s in a way that is wonderfully fresh and strangely comforting.
With a track list that scream a band making progress, it’s no surprise to see The Delta Riggs taking influence from further and further corners of the musical world – The Clash, The Roots and Jurassic 5 just to name a few.
However, it’s the band’s own amalgamation of all these influences that they feel most comfortable in, and we can’t argue with that at all: Active Galactic is a raw and powerful release that fulfils all your Rigg-related cravings at once and much, much more.
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