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Farflung - Live At 013 Roadburn 2009 CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.82 | 3 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars If Hawkwind was the grandfather of Space Rock, Farflung is his pimply, adolescent stepchild, the kid with a chip on his shoulder and a loaded gun in the closet, hidden beneath his dirty underwear, assorted comic books, and a well-thumbed copy of Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible.

And this is what he does when mom and dad are out for the evening: takes a hit of acid, cranks up the stereo, and flops down on his unmade bed, ready to die in a Wall of Sound.

Throughout their long (and, on this site, largely unsung) history, Farflung has always straddled that razor-blade studded line separating Space Rock from Heavy Metal. The band's suitability to these Archives depends on which way their music is leaning at any given moment: a direction varying from album to album, sometimes from song to song. But on stage you'll hear the heavier, harder-rocking Farflung, playing shorter numbers at a higher volume to a younger crowd eager for total sensory obliteration.

The aggressive headbanger riffing in this set carries it about as far from the lofty ideals of Progressive Rock as you can get without losing your sanity. But there's an awesome energy here that needs to be acknowledged, audible even in a digital facsimile of the '09 event, held in the Dutch city of Tilburg (013 was the name of the venue, where Farflung shared the same stage with Motorpsycho and Amon Düül II). On record the music has serious punch. In person it must have been like receiving an undiluted blast of deadly cosmic radiation.

Farflung was flying closer to Earth at the time, but they hadn't forsaken their Space Rock roots. The longer selections ("Saint Anthony's Fire"; "Landing On Cydonia") often develop into massive interstellar jams, and even the shorter songs typically feature monster grooves. Check out the reverb-and-echo orgy of the concert opener "Breach of Eye", or the headlong thrash of "Endless Drifting Wreck", a title no doubt describing the band's mindset at the time. "Thank you for the acid, Colin..." drawls an obviously wasted Tommy Grenas during the lysergic intro to "Like It Has Never Been", but I like to imagine him winking while saying it, like a method actor in character making an aside to his audience.

At 74-minutes it's an overlong album, except to delinquent metal heads and other masochists. But the full show, from start to finish, is relentless in the best sense of the word. This is music for jubilant ass-kicking, in places making Hawkwind's classic Space Ritual sound like a playschool milk-and-cookie break.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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