No prizes for guessing the central theme of The Observatory’s new album, August is the Cruellest. Perhaps in retaliation to last year’s SG50 bombardment, the seven-track LP is a seething, fire-breathing monster that razes the (faux) nostalgia and optimism of our golden jubilee into ashes. You’ll find no lullabies here.
In this record not-so-subtly named after the month of our nation’s independence (and a nod to a TS Eliot poem), the quartet find steady footing between the prog-rock, art rock, kosmische and doom-ridden elegies that have become their hallmarks. This is The Observatory’s – and possibly the local music scene’s – tightest and most mature effort to date.