Acid Mothers Temple - Electric Heavyland
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Acid Mothers Temple
Electric Heavyland

A couple years ago, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion asked the question, "do you want to get heavy?" in a song of nearly the same name. Provided you were a person who answered "yes" to that question, but found no satisfaction of the sloppy rock stomp of JSBX, Acid Mothers Temple have arrived again like a bag of sand upside the cranium, delivering on the promise of heavy and then some. Although the stripped-down outer packaging might not suggest it (an homage to King Crimson's Earthbound bootleg), Electric Heavyland lets loose with waves and spades of what you've expect from the over-the-top group.

With three tracks that run just over 50 minutes in length, this is a release that is at most times absolutely relentless. Opening with "Atomic Rotary Grinding God," the haunting, spaced-out droney vocals of Cotton Casino drift over subtle feedback for several minutes, sounding like what could easily be a soundtrack to some long-lost zombie movie. Soon, a squeal of feedback rips across the surface, and the absolute deluge of sound begins as drums pummel and a scorching guitar solo wails away. At times, the recording is so damn thick that it's hard to even pull away anything more than one singular wall of sound, but as the track progresses and heaves and groans, the group push out a sort of psychedelic metal that mixes early Mudhoney with doses of pure tripped-out weirdness.

The tracks just get longer, too, as "Loved And Confused" wastes absolutely no dead air building into things, instead wailing away for an entire 17 minutes, weaving too and fro like a thunderous rock band who's taken some bad (or maybe good) acid en route to busting guitar strings and toppling drum kits. Casino's droning vocals again play a major part in the swirling haze, and provided there are pictures in an upcoming edition of the musical encyclopedia, a picture of this group will be found next to the word "freakout."

Musically speaking, it's the final track of "Phantom Of Galactic Magnum," that's the most interesting. Giving the listener a short breather with the droney opening, the track gives way to quick-panning guitar feedback phasers (which will absolutely spin your head if listened to on headphones) before launching into a full-on blasto multiple-guitar spazz. I'm using a lot of odd words to describe the group, but if you've heard them before, you'll probably realize that it's warranted. While lots of groups talk about 'rocking out,' Acid Mothers Temple just keep on doing it. As mentioned above, the recording tends to bleed into a dense squall at several times, and the recording on the actual instruments is dirty as hell (I can almost picture the sound-board people crying as levels consistenly rip into the red zones), but if you're into psychedelic rock that swerves into downright metal moments, you'll probably eat this release up (likewise goes for those who are already fans of the groups antics). Definitely not for everyone, this is one of those albums that requires a somewhat specific mood for listening, as it tends to be rather all-enveloping (I had a hard-enough time writing this while it was playing, and I blame any confusion above on it). A downright exhausting listen, Acid Mothers Temple invoke thee to rock out with thy cock out.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00