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500mg - Vertical Approach CD (album) cover




Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

3.04 | 5 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars The band Bardo Pond comes from Philadelphia, PA and led by the brothers Michael and John Gibbons. The band has pumped out a number of albums that could be classified as either space rock, acid rock, post-rock, shoegaze, noise or psychedelia. They explore long and hypnotic soundscapes that are characterized by droning guitars, distortion like there's no tomorrow, feedback loops and reverb and lots of techniques to incorporate noise while a soothing hypnotic bass line provides a beacon of light in the murky fuzzy haze. While the band are fairly prolific in their own right, it's the multitude of side projects that will blow your mind. The Gibbons brothers are involved in Vapour Theories, Baikal, Third Troll, Alumbrados, Alasehir and the band of this review's interest 500 MG.

As 500MG the band have so far released three albums and as the album cover on their debut VERTICAL APPROACH suggests with a dosage recommendation next to a psychedelic species of mushroom, this is indeed an album that is designed to be introspective and very much meant to be played in the company of a health brain chemistry meltdown of sorts. The music is led by acoustic guitar riffs that are lazy and spaced out with the added effects of sitar, loop effects and tripped out vocals. As with most of these free folk and drone inducing psychedelic type albums, this one is quite hypnotic and meditative and the emphasis is on the escapist pacification rather than compositional prowess of any sort.

While the tracks are mostly the same in their soft and lullaby inducing guitar techniques, 'Condition Of A Trance' stands out with its startling electronic 'chirping' that begins the track before it subtly becomes overpowered by lush and tranquil acoustic guitar chords that sputter along in somewhat off-kilter time signatures but never with anything as freaky as the introductory electronica. Overall this is a nice meditative slice of transcendental weirdness but in the end it's the type of music that anyone with a bag of shrooms, a few instruments and some recording equipment couldn't pump out in less than an hour. While effective in its intent, it's the type of stuff i've heard a million times and doesn't have anything special to stand out. In this aspect they are very much like Acid Mothers Temple where they pump out album after album of similarly sounding trips to planet mondo bizarro.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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