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Liquid Sound Company + Herd of Instinct — Cosmic Worlds
(Bandcamp no#, 2023, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2023-05-27

Cosmic Worlds Cover art

Liquid Sound Company and Herd of Instinct are two bands from Arlington, Texas. The former is a psychedelic group centered around mainstays John Perez (guitar) and Jason Spradlin (drums), while the latter is more of a technical progressive band centered around Warr guitarist and keyboardist Mark Cook, with a varying roster of players over time, although Spradlin was the drummer on HOI’s first two albums from 2011 (self-titled) and 2013, Conjure, and also on their most recent album Unravel, from 2020, on which flutist Bob Fisher also played. To further confuse matters, Mark Cook is also listed as a member of LSC since their 2011 album Acid Music for Acid People — so these two bands were already pretty entangled, even before this latest release, but for clarification, the personnel on Cosmic Worlds includes Perez (guitar), Cook (Warr guitar, guitar, fretless bass, keyboards, and samples), Fisher (flute), and Spradlin (drums and percussion). The collaborative result of the merging of the two bands is much as one would expect: progressive, technical, explorative, and trippy, with a combined musical idiom that is at once expansive and otherworldly. All of the album’s nine cuts are group written, seeming to be likely borne of improvisation, but developed over time into something that eschews that tag and comes off as very concise and evolved, fusing the best elements of both groupings. The flute (and synths, where they are used) in particular highlight the colorful intensity of the sonic textures, as well as the use of tablas and sitar effects (like opener “Macumba”). The title track unfolds slowly and certainly lives up to its title, direct from outer space, with a sequenced pattern taking hold midway through, underscored by Spradlin’s skillful drum figure. “Her Name Was Cobra” dives right into a Middle-Eastern world of sound with beautiful howling guitar lines and an intense groove. And I almost forgot to mention, if you are waiting for vocals, you won’t find any here, anywhere.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Herd of Instinct, Liquid Sound Company

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