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Litmus - You Are Here CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.52 | 8 ratings

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4 stars Litmus are Space Ritual wannabees, their heads firmly focussed on those heady days when Hawkwind toured their masterpiece, introducing Calvert, Stacia and Spacerock to an appreciative audience eager to expand their horizons. With this as their muse, Litmus have brought a modern slant with a very heavy sound based on synchronised guitar & bass riffs producing a massive wall-of-sound. Lovers of early heavy metal should appreciate the effect, but it comes at the expense of clarity in detail, particularly of the keyboards which often get swamped - Hammond and Mellotron are both present but you sometimes have to really concentrate to hear them properly.

Theta Wave (Inductor) stands out because it doesn't become swamped by the big riff. It also features a multi-rhythmic base with perhaps three different time signatures in simultaneous use. And it works surprisingly well, building with a hypnotic repeated vocal phrase to a very satisfying conclusion. The 'feature' song - Stone Oscillator (Static Ritual) - is a slow ponderous song that for me is a little over-extended at 21 minutes as it takes far too long to achieve anything worthwhile. This monster track has a superb central section featuring another repeated vocal motif ["this could become the centre of our world"], and it ends in fine Eloy-style with repeated guitar arpeggiuos and spacey effects. Great stuff!

Overall, You Are Here is an excellent example of classic Spacerock and an essential purchase for all lovers of the genre. All tracks are song-based, the unexceptional lyrics are of the 'cosmic explorer' variety which clearly is a necessity! My main gripe is with the mushy production, and an overblown mastering which causes the sound to blow-out as soon as the wick is turned up. I must just mention Andy Thompson's excellent use of the Mellotron, especially accompanying acoustic guitars in the wonderful interlude that is the title song. These guys have the right stuff alright, and I can't wait for the next instalment.

Joolz | 4/5 |


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