Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Spacemen 3 - Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To

Yep, I'm still delving into the wild, trippy sounds of Spacemen 3 and this record may be one of their best! Ironically, it is a collection of demos from the 80's, but the sound is great overall and the performances and songs are much more raw'n'powerful than on most of their "official" releases.

Opening with "The Sound of Confusion", this is particularly rockin', in a minimalistic, droney way, but with plenty of energy and some terrifically noisy feedback guitar work - probably one of my fave numbers of theirs. A bit more menacing'n'gritty is "2:35", with a prowling rhythm and jarring guitar interactions, followed by the looping, loping guitar work in "Losing Touch With My Mind" - Sonic and Jason have some great tones and intertwine well here over a cool, repetitive, garagey backing by bassist Pete and drummer Natty. This continues in the similar sounding "Amen", which is actually - sorta/kinda - a take on the standard gospel tune and then "That's Just Fine" is a bit more open'n'ambient 'n'psychedelic sounding and obviously influenced by the Velvet Underground. Their version of the old school blues number "Come Down Easy" is sparsely groovy and a great interpretation, "Mary Anne" is an energetic, psych-influenced head-bobber, and they slow things down to a stoney simmer in "Feel So Good", get a bit Crampsian for a different take on "2:35" that has some excellently wild guitar noise, "Hey Man" is another rendition of "Amen", which has a hip, droney stomp to it, Bo Diddley's (by way of the Stones) "It's Alright" is simple'n'repetitive enough to make sense as a cover for these cats, yet another take on "2:35" works as a terrific variation with truly intense'n'dynamic walls of guitar before concluding with the two note Suicide-esque (with guitar mania) demolition of "Things'll Never Be the Same".

This is a bit less overtly stoner and more garage rock'n'roll, but certainly psyched-out, nonetheless. I've only heard their debut, Sound of Confusion, on YouTube so far but thought it was pretty fab, but this release is probably my fave that I've heard so far.