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Farflung — The Belief Module
(Bad Acid TRIP3, 1998, CD)

by Mac Beaulieu, Published 1999-11-01

The Belief Module Cover art

Legend has it that Tommy Grenas (keyboards, vocals) was abducted by aliens when a small boy on an Irish potato farm. Though that would certainly explain some of his more questionable terrestrial activities, it is of course just a tall tale. Everyone knows if Grenas was ever taken into space he’d never come back. In my review in issue 14 of their So Many Minds album, I wrote about the Farflung two-sided coin: some songs are extended, morphing space-rock epics while others are harder riffing space punk jams. The treatment is generally the same here, though the punk element is more pronounced. “The Day of St. Anthony’s Fire” opens the disc with a Middle Eastern guitar riff, joined by an increasingly louder marching snare and trippy guitar effects. Then Grenas’ vocal chants enter over a slow-mid tempo space groove. At 3:30 it ceases, and we’re left with a gentle, sparse interlude building slowly but surely... and sure enough at about 7:20 minutes swirling synth effects, thick muddy bass, and heavily treated psychedelic guitars all come billowing at you like a wall of aural asteroids. Twelve minutes of incomparable space bliss. “Fingers of the Sky Catcher” (10:01) starts out as a space punk jam, the initial vocals of which are too heavily treated, but it’s more than redeemed by the long chill out in the middle, developing a sound that reminds me of Gomorrha’s Trauma. “Gleam” has another punkish intro and drifts off into mid-period Hawkwind space, then to psychedelic territory with female vocals. “The Dead Sea,” clocking in at 17 minutes, continues in a similar vein, but it sounds like it could be a drifting, early Kraftwerk piece, especially when some nice analog synths and effects contribute. Before you know it you’re drifting on a creaking ship, and then you’re treated to a heavily fuzzed acid riff that’s quintessentially Farflung; ditto for the two minute “World within a World.” “Petal” and “The Belief Module” are both space punk songs clocking in at about 2:45. The former, with its Hawkwind leanings I find is preferable to the latter. Space rock devotees need some Farflung in their lives. Start with So Many Minds and when you love that, get this.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 18, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Farflung

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