Earthling Society: Plastic Jesus and the Third Eye Blind (Nasoni)
"Psychedelic" is easily one of the most overused words in music criticism. It's the go-to shorthand for anything trippy, exploratory or remotely like late '60s fare. But, like Frank Zappa's question about whether a poncho was real or a Sears' knockoff, genuine psych aficionados can smell a true freak a galaxy away. The blood splattered currency on the cover of this sophomore album suggests a U.K. version of Funkadelic's America Eats Its Young, and what's inside is a skewed but certain gloss on power and how we use it. Earthling Society excels at capturing the splendid mind-fuckery and sweet disorientation of recreational drug use like a grinning flashback for your ears. Plastic Jesus crawls out of a Hades deep dub to board a Jefferson Airplane style raga. From there they dip into Soft Machine funk, almost straight pop, cobalt heavy rock, and all wrapped up in ancient keyboard bubbles, wah-wah guitar and whispered vocals. At unexpected junctures they burst forth like Secret Machines or the nastier end of Pink Floyd, yet this is no recreation Society. Far from it, these gents steadily and surely ply the same spaceways as Sun Ra and Can once did, taking their ancestors into altogether new quadrants.
We'll be back the last week of December with the Corner's picks for the Top 10 Albums of 2007 and a few other thoughts on the year that's been...
JamBase | Endlessly Bewildered
Go See Live Music!