Sunday, January 26, 2014

“Shrunken Head Music” compilation, Vespero “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” b/w “One of these Days,” Vibravoid “Colour Your Mind” ep

(Fruits de Mer) The latest pile of records from this productive vinyl psyche label came our way, so we dove into the dreamy cloud and here’s what we hear: The best of the bunch was the Vibravoid EP which starts off with a cover of the 60s Aussie band Tyrnaround that features stingin’ guitar, spooky sounds and psyche/garage scariness arranged in a Middle Eastern pattern, eventually descending into pre-irrelevance Pink Floyd-influenced discordia. That is followed by a Michel Polnareff cover that showcases clean, compressed fuzz guitar over a catchy melody that invokes “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Paul Revere’s “Hungry” and maybe the Dead Boys “I Need Lunch.” The International history lesson ends with a cover of L.A.’s Human Expression, respectfully remembered with a tremelo attack worthy of the Cramps, made more interesting as the guitarist wrestles with wispy, paisley embellishments. Less interesting in Vespero. When you’re dealing with Quaaludish late 60s-early 70s Pink Floyd, it takes some doing to get that plane off the ground, and though not unpleasant, V’s “Eugene” treatment kinda doesn’t go anywhere, not picking up steam until six minutes in, or so. Their second Floyd cover sounds like might have kicked in as early as five minutes into it, but I didn’t get that far. Vespero also appears on the double 7” comp “Shrunken Head Music,” covering Faust, with prerequisite Hawkwind synth noises, with feedbacking guitars also recalling Hawkwind (at their most structurally challenged) as they jam pretty much throughout, especially when the drums kick in about halfway through. The singer sounds like a 1930s newsboy ranting on LSD (which had yet to be invented…maybe a time travelling 1930s newsboy…wasn’t there a Jack Kirby comic about that?). The comp opens with Frobisher Neck covering Brainticket with a mellotron, that track followed by Black Tempest covering Tangerine Dream, and while a positive person might say the two tracks perfectly compliment each other, I’m a little grumpy and I’ll just say that since I listened to them not on vinyl, but back to back on a CD I made for a road trip, I thought both combined into one long noodling nowhere fest. This prog rock revival/tribute is not the best driving music if you’re behind the wheel because it put me in a weird white line fever trance state. PsycheaDULLic. The end of the Black Tempest track recalled someone walking around a flooded bathroom floor, which got a little more interesting when they peed on the floor then dropped their hair dryer. It’s like instead of dropping acid they actually dropped their acid, with a “plop” as it hit the puddle. The best I can say is: “Dr Who theme on ludes.” The last track by Jay Tausig is a distracted Satriani in space exploration about swimming in your own imagination. Like the aforementioned fumbled LSD tab, it got me wet.

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