Earthling Society — Beauty and the Beast
(4Zero FZ002, 2008, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-10-01Beauty and the Beast is British based Earthling Society’s fourth full-length release, and seems to authentically capture that swirling heady psychedelic space rock sound out of an earlier era, perhaps from no later than around 1971 or '72. A quartet of g/k/b/d (although their bassist only plays on a couple of the album’s ten cuts), with guest players on flute and harmonica, the main movers here seem to be Fred Laird (guitars, vocals, bass on the other eight cuts, keys, mandolin, bouzouki, samples, theremin, and production) and drummer / percussionist Jon Blacow, who together share a hand in all the compositions. Those compositions seem to be informed more by classic 60s rock (The Who, Beatles, Nazz, Brian Jones-era Stones, early Floyd, etc.) and others from the first psychedelic and early progressive eras than any of the better known spacerock units of that time or since, which means in a nutshell that these guys know how to write good songs, not just jam endlessly in a mindless groove. That said, the arrangements and embellishments often tend to be hallucinatory and provocative, with heavy reverb and use of theremin and other electronic trappings (reminding a bit of Fifty Foot Hose), as well as an intentionally slightly low-fi vibe in keeping with much of what was produced in that bygone era. If this piques the interest, definitely check out the samples on the band’s myspace page.
Related artist(s): Earthling Society
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more
Gogglesphere & Lafcadio - Babies in Hell & Sham Duvet – One might ask why these two discs are being addressed in the same review; it’s because both Gogglesphere and Lafcadio are essentially the same band – or that is to say they have the same... (2006) » Read more