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Earthling Society - Zen Bastard CD (album) cover


Earthling Society


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.85 | 8 ratings

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4 stars EARTHLING SOCIETY are known for a rather acid heavy space rock style, this partially enriched with a proper portion of krautrock elements in recent times. That makes them quite unique and special, not an issue for everybody's taste on the other hand. Now the new album 'Zen Bastard' sounds a bit like back to the roots somehow, like pointing to the early stages. And indeed, yes, there is something to this, as they are reworking tracks from the first two band albums 'Albion' (2005) and 'Plastic Jesus And The Third Eye Blind' (2006) here as well. Solely the title track is brand new, where another one originally can be found as a band contribution to a split LP, released last year. That would mean a time lapse of more than ten years when it comes to the whole considered material.

Anyhow, concerning the given atmosphere and flow the production sounds completely rounded. Predominantly due to fact that this stuff has been recorded during one weekend solely in April 2016 at Dave Anderson's Foel Studios in its entirety. Hence the four songs are also capturing the band's live sound quite well, even though guitars are overdubbed here and there, which in principle will serve a more luxuriant sound. While being responsible for the song writing, Fred Laird appears as the spiritual mastermind, also catering for diverse guitars and some mellotron impressions. The excellent rhythm backbone furthermore is comprised of drummer Jon Blacow, practically on his side since the beginning, and finally Kim Allen on bass, continuously aboard since 2012 at least, what I know.

So while missing any additional keyboard personal since quite a time, Fred dominates the show with his varied guitar work as usual, I would say. Additionally there are a lot of synthy alike sounds to detect, where I'm inclined to say that this is caused by the guitar though, at least partially. The title track however is prospering very mellotron drenched right from the start. This 16 minute lasting bastard runs in different stages. The intriguing groove helps to make it big in the end. When following the indo/raga flavoured Mountain King Blues it soon will be clear that this is not implemented as a common Blues tune. So much the more since an inevitable heavy guitar storm is coming up sooner or later, evolving into a fury climax reminiscent of The Who's wildest times on stage. Wow! Please be careful regarding the volume, that might pull off your headphones or ask for trouble with your family respectively neighbours!

And then, equipped with a cool halting beat and obvious dub tendencies, OutsideOfInTime returns, space rock decorated with a trippy flavour at its best! The Kosmik Suite finally flows just like the title promises. That means initiating with pure melancholy, or even elegy, if you will, but soon altering in mood and atmosphere with a Hawkind similar drive and power, again turning back later to some nice mellow parts featuring expressive guitar outings. Thanks to an inspired weekend at Foels this a very recommended band snapshot. That also means accessible when it comes to my taste, spacey stuff which is not too weird, something I prefer to listen to. The songs are offered in a groovy and hypnotic outfit basically, vocals are modified by effects mostly, not unusual when it comes to such space rock acts. Overall this is a really fine contribution to the genre discography.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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