Terrorizer Magazine
December 10th 2010
by Kat Gillham

KAT’S BAND OF THE WEEK 13 – SPACE PROBE TAURUS (SWE)

This week’s featured band is one I have followed for quite a while now and have actually been meaning to make them a band of the week for at least a month! Anyway I have been a big fan of these Swedish rockers since I was first sent a copy of their ‘Insect City’ 7″ by an American penpal who had released it on his own record label, Game 2 Records around 10 years or so ago.

I would like to present to you the AWESOME hardrockin’  “Acid Fuzzrock” musical cult from Sweden known as Space Probe Taurus, a band who wrote some of the best riffs and songs early Monster Magnet never did!!! Even though there is a strong comparison to be made between both bands in places there is more to the overall Space Probe Taurus sound and they are defintely a band who very much have their own vibe going on but with obvious influences on their sleeves.

What this band deliver is total dirty late 60s/ early-mid 70s sounding Occult B movie worshipping garagey fuzz drenched HARDrock, this band would have been a great soundtrack to the movie ‘Psychomania’. On one of the tracks from the aforementioned  7″  ‘Dirt Cult ’72’, an instrumental biker movie inspired rocker of a song,  they also use a very fitting satanic biker movie sample too which goes: -“Satanic biker cults slaughtering hitch hikers just for the hell of it”… then the song kicks in! Awesome!!

Anyway these guys (from the Karlstad/Värmlands län region of Sweden) have been around for a LONG time, since the early 1990s in fact, originally forming in 1992, out of the then still smouldering ashes of the legendary Swedish death metal band God Macabre. Under the name of Snake Machine, the line up at that time featured a couple ex God Macabre members, namely Per Boder (vocals) and Ola Sjoberg (guitar), the band recorded 2 demos under this name then decided to change their name to Space Probe Taurus in 1997 (named after an old 1965 B movie, one of guitarist Ola’s obsessions in life!) and their first demo offering under this name was the awesomely titled ‘Low on Karma….High on Speed’ demo, which was quickly followed up a little while later by the ‘Hallucination Generation’  and ‘Acid Worship’ demos, all 3 being dirty gritty garagey fuzzed out, hardrockin’ and extremely catchy!!.

Throughout the years the band continued to stay very pro active and productive recording self financed demo after demo (some other recordings being ‘Snakefarm Rituals’ (2002), ‘Black Hole Revolutions’ (2003), ‘Peace, Love and Satan’ (2005), ‘Who’s Along For The Revolution?’ (2006) and have built up quite an impressive back catalogue of recordings and music (which I personally would LOVE to see released as part of discography CD one day), each recording being a rifftastic workout in down ‘n’ dirty no frills garage/hard/fuzzrock that will most defintely appeal to fans of the aforementioned Monster Magnet, as well as The Stooges and other such bands (someone on a forum I post on comparing them to a “really distorted Stooges” after I posted up some songs by them). The band are also influenced by and have been mentioned in the same breath as bands such as Mudhoney, Union Carbide Productions, MC5, and Blue Cheer too and I can defintely hear why as all 4 namechecks are very relevant in the world and music of Space Probe Taurus.

Frontman Ola’s vocals do have a very Dave Wyndorf vibe to them in a lot places, but he injects his own style into the vocals aswell (his Swedish accent being very evident in places which just adds more character to his voice) and his vocals compliment the music perfectly, gloriously gritty!! I love Ola’s vocals, the guy has a ROCKIN’ voice on him!!

The band also made an appearance as the soundtrack to a low budget American Horror movie back in 2005 called ‘Actress Apocalypse’, described as a “a sexy, psychedelic mockumentary”, which featured various demo tracks. They have also contributed music to that film’s director Richard R Anasky’s upcoming film ‘I Am Vengeance’ as well. A perfect band to use as a soundtrack for such movies.

After years of recording demos the band decided to record an album off their own backs, totally self financed and in September-October 2004  entered the studio and laid down the tracks for the debut full length which features 10 songs of total fuzzed out riff worship and features such hardrockin’ gems as ‘Dig The Lizard’, ‘Levitation’, ‘Supersonic Woman’, ‘Buzz Amp’, ‘Molten Lava’, and they also recorded a great bonus track called ‘Hollywood She Wolf’, which is one of my fave songs by them and was recorded and mixed a bit later than the other tracks in the summer of 2005, these guys know how to write infectious addictive songs full of seriously catchy rockin’ hooks and refrains that should have your foot tapping and head moving along involuntarily!! Each song on this album is just soo damn INFECTIOUS!!!

The album’s release was unfortunately delayed by quite a while due to one reason or another, waiting to get a record deal secured being the main one, but finally small Belgian label Buzzville Records came along and had the sense to pick the album up for a proper release and unleashed Space Probe Taurus’s debut full length in summer 2008. The label gave this description of the band in a press release on their website: “the music is heavily influenced by the late 60s psych rock scene as well as the fuzzed out rock instrumentals used in biker movies from that same era,” or as the band have described themselves “like the bastard love child of Satan and a bunch of hairy bikers”. I really couldn’t have worded it better myself!!

It was great to finally see this band have a full length album released by a label as they are defintely a band worthy of more wider attention and who defintely have been an underrated underground musical gem in my opinion. I have seen in my opinion much more mediocre bands playing such music getting more press attention and praise than SPT have which is a shame and a travesty as this band are head and shoulders above them.

The band have been through various line up changes since their formation but frontman Ola Sjöberg has kept the SPT riffmachine fully operating through the personnel upheavels. The current line up is: Sjöberg – guitars & vocals, Tömte – guitars & backing vocals, Enberg – bass & backing vocals and Boman – drums & percussion.

Some metal trivia for you here: Another ex Macabre End/God Macabre member Jonas Stålhammar (now in The Crown and Bombs Of Hades) was also a member of Space Probe Taurus at one point.

Recently the band have been hard at work on writing and working on material for a 2nd full length, which I can’t wait to hear, I have lost count of how many times I have played the advance copy of the debut self titled album that I have had since 2005 it really is THAT good and it has been getting some more spins whilst I have been writing this blog!! I can never tire of listening to this band’s debut album and music in general and often find myself going back for more, I usually can’t go more than a few weeks without another SPT fix, these guys have me well and truly hooked!.

I can’t (obviously!!) recommend these guys enough if you are looking for some good old fashioned FUZZED OUT  HARDROCKIN’ RIFFARAMA ….these Swedes know how to kick out the jams, oh you better believe it baby, these guys have KILLER RIFFS GALORE!!….check out their music at the links here and you will hear for yourself! Also Ola their guitarist has recently uploaded the bands entire discography including the full length to their recently put up ReverbNatiion page so you can go listen to/download tracks there aswell as the tracks streaming on Myspace. Get your hits of ACID FUZZROCK at these website addresses:-  

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Space-Probe-Taurus/267503979145

http://www.reverbnation.com/spaceprobetaurus

http://www.myspace.com/spaceprobetaurus