MBM Entertainment 2016
Voyage to the rediscovery of one’s roots rolls out a transcendental trip into penumbral eclipse of the mind.
There’s a North Carolinian trio blurring the line between traditional mythology and personal experience, and keeping it tied to American soil. Their second album, "New World" from 2016, seemed to be space-conscious, but its successor has brought the trip close to the ground to tell a story of self-exploration in no so artsy terms.
Split in three parts to better mark the milestones of its protagonist’s spiritual journey, the record starts rather inauspiciously, yet a country rock thread running through “Ten Bears” sheds painful, if prog-tinged, tones on the way to catharsis. This vibe becomes rather arresting further down the line, in “Doorstep” that’s much warmer – and distant at the same time – but “How The West Was Won” is unfolded to fill the big sky, where Matt Mayes and John Meyer’s vocal harmonies and guitars add silver lining to dark clouds, while Gene Bass’ drums move to the fore to deliver a roar of thunder.
In due course, lightning zigzags arrive, once bluesy riffs ruffle the hurried serenity of “Quaker Pets” in a desert-befitting way, and gather the percussion for “Dream Catcher” whose hypnotic dance slowly opens a portal to another, psychedelic dimension. Out there, it’s difficult not to surrender to the sparse patterns woven into “Wolf Medicine” until they get heavy and menacing, yet “Froth Squelch” introduces infectious strum to the flow, oiled with a slide rolling up the neck. And if “The Vanishing Point” is saved by triumphant, if still slightly aching, funk, and translucent voices encrusting its ragged edge, the bass-shattered, heavy “Red Giant” emerges as an epitome of joy to propel the journey home. This may outline another macrocosm but, looking from the inside of one’s mind, the space won’t be the same anymore.