Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Spacemen 3 - The Perfect Prescription

While I have never been enough of a drug taker (as much as I appreciate the sentiment) to be a huge Spacemen 3 fan, I have always appreciated their intoxicated style and now, as I am delving into one-time bassist's Will Carruthers' book, I have been revisiting them. This is the only album that I currently own (although I have ordered another already and am interested in others) and while it has been ages since I pulled it out, it does have its own druggy charm.

This was the group's second studio album and, apparently, a concept album about a drug trip and while it is overall relatively calm and reasonably quiet, it does have its jarring moments. Lou Reed's influence is highly apparent here with plenty of Velvet Underground touches throughout and a tribute number titled "Ode to Street Hassle". There's even a bit of old school blues as they "borrow" heavily from "In My Time of Dying" for "Come Down Easy" and they even pull out a Red Krayola cover.

From the opening "Take Me To the Other Side", their Velvet obsession is obvious, as they update "Sister Ray" in its droney feel and melody (and bits'n'pieces of words, as well). "Walkn' With Jesus" is even sparser but somewhat spiritual sounding, followed by the "Street Hassle" homage which leads to the high of the trip, "Ecstasy Symphony/Transparent Radiation (Flashback)", which is a bit ambient'n'dreamy, almost Pink Floydian mixed with psyched-out Velvet licks. This continues into "Feel So Good" before they add some cacophony for the come down in "Things'll Never Be The Same" - kinda a blast of Godz/Hypnotics/Stooges/Velvets feedback/drone, which makes it one of the album faves - and become their uncommonly bluesiest for "Come Down Easy" and then overdose in the Doctor", with more Lou Reed-isms abounding among some neat, effect-laden slide guitar.

Yes, they wear their influences on their metaphorical sleeves, but with influences this cool, do you really have a problem with that? Neat, stoned-out drone! Unwind your mind and dig!