Quality: 3.948 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.25 out of 5
Here's a bit of brand-spanking new psychedelia via a fellow named Brian Andrew Marek. He seems to draw inspiration from many of the bands lurking around this blog, with touches of 1960's psychedelic pop, krautrock, and a dash of 70's rock informing the melodies. The production is also of note. Although definitely shifted over to the more lo-fi end of the sound range, the instruments stand out crisply and blend in all the right places. This stuff was recorded very well and mixed even better.
The album is clearly divided between more compact vocal contributions and more extended instrumental space explorations. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may surmise that I'm more attracted to the instrumental tracks. "Welcome to My Carnival" and "Thank You Thank You" do a fine job of evoking prime late 1960's psychedelic pop; maybe too well. They sound strangely dated despite being brand-new recordings. I guess it's best thought of as a kind of a Dukes of Statosphear re-creation; this is stuff very much of a kin with the Merchants of Dream or Paul Perrish. "Thank You Thank You" also seems to also be an (un?)intentional tribute to the similarly titled Big Star tune, although it functions well enough under its own power. "I Get the Visions" pushes things even farther into a seventies sound. It makes me think of the Who's Next-era Who trying to evoke Pink Floyd's Meddle.
Alas, I'd like to think that you would forge a firmer connection with the hypnotic instrumentals. "Baited Breath" is a swirling world of sound. We get backwards guitars and sitars and everlasting synthesizer drone, improbably but effectively stitched together by an almost AOR piano riff. The main course in both length and content is the sprawling title track. It sounds like an LSD ceremony presided over by Manuel Gottsching's delayed guitars before plunging into the abyss (or vertigo swirl I'd presume) at about the 12 minute mark. The hypnotic quality is also of note. It achieves the rare quality of sonic time dialation. It ends, and I can't convince myself that the thing is longer that 1o minutes, although the track actually goes on for 23 minutes.
You're not going to do too much better than this if you're on the prowl for new psychedelia (at least not of the hypnotic type). Everything here is finely crafted, and the instrumental tracks in particular will provide some mind transportation for your entertainment and enjoyment.