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Spirits Burning - Behold The Action Man CD (album) cover

BEHOLD THE ACTION MAN

Spirits Burning

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.00 | 1 ratings

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Rivertree
Special Collaborator
Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions
3 stars During the recent decade and a half California based Don Falcone is acting like a jack of all trades apparently, when it comes to making music - or even better to say organizing music in some way. I mean, just have a look at the particular line-up listed for those numerous albums he already has produced under the moniker SPIRITS BURNING - then you will know what I mean. Really awe-inspiring, isn't it? And I don't have any clue how he is able to manage this concretely - apart from having a busy email account ... and a Red Telephone maybe.

Okay, it's quite obvious that this collection - consisting of 16 songs in total - is not, at least not solely, resulting from common recording sessions somewhere in a studio. That means, also tapes and a bunch of digital snippets must have gone back and forth, predominantly between the US and UK I assume, until the final mix was ready to go at some point. So concerning this procedure explicitly - at least at the very start - he quite rightly can be deemed as a pioneer. Well, this is my first SPIRITS BURNING attempt, which is announced as a 'Space Rock Journey Into Film Noir'. Stand and deliver! So what is it now? The art work is certainly corresponding, while being faced with the Action Man aka Roger Neville-Neil on the front, a cool figure in trench coat and fedora.

Cast shadows behind a curtain and diverse other hints are pointing to a dangerous and somewhat criminal affair which is going on here (though given with sense of humour, taken for granted, just in order to defuse the situation a little). Hawkwind companion Neville-Neil is responsible for the story and appears as the co-producer here. Furthermore, most of the songs are worked out in collaboration with Daevid Allen, who frequently is guesting at Don's homebase. This surprisingly sounds really organic, when considering the modus operandi. The song collection represents a wonderous mixed bag of ideas and impressions in general, summarized by a cinematic note overall.

Fine - SPIRITS BURNING have a really promising start with Rendezvous At Lava Lounge - this is an excellent prog drenched space rock tune, featuring flute, the beloved Mellotron and Gitta MacKay on vocals reprising the album motto like a mantra. The following Stand And Deliver shows a styling which already is closer to Hawkwind, I'm speaking of the vocal attitude as well as the straightforward garage rock beat. Though presented with a way of expression, which comes a bit lighter in general. Thematically this is dealing with some figures of serious crime, for example bank robber John Dillinger, hijacker D.B. Cooper or pirate Bold Black Bart.

Not every song makes it to a blockbuster, the more garage rocking impressions sometimes sound repetitive for example. In order to mention other outstanding pieces, let me continue with Outcast which shows some ethno/krautrock leanings due to didgeridoo and the hypnotic flow. The dark melancholic HypnoSpy comes David Sylvian inspired where the grooving instrumental Hemlock On The Rocks expresses a happy optimistic flavour. 'You are nothing more than a hired voyeur' ... Obelisk Of Fondue represents a rather weird snippet with Daevid Allen on vocals.

You see, there's a lot to explore on this occasion - hereby 'Behold The Action Man', released on Gonzo Multimedia, features some familiar hints from Gong, Hawkwind, Here & Now, Secret Saucer aso. Spacey synths everywhere you are, variating vocals also including Bridget Wishart and Don himself, violin arrangements coming from Cyndee Lee Rule ... eh, although deserved, I don't know if it is helpful to name all the contributors here. In any case there's a lot of competence brought together by Don Falcone, and the result is a rather interesting album overall.

Rivertree | 3/5 |

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