Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Melting Euphoria — Inside the Gardens of the Mind
(Purple Pyramid CLP 0089-2, 1997, CD)
Bubbling, swirling analog synths and heavily effects-laden lead guitar drive this album of Spacious Mind-style psychedelic jam-rock. Like a lot of psych music, the musicians often get overly engrossed with a particular sound, riff, or effect, and play it for much more than its worth. But granting that repetition and atmosphere are the hallmarks of this type of music, Inside the Gardens of the Mind is fairly successful in its aspirations. True to the genre, the emphasis is on hypnotic, spacy riffing, with little attention paid to any sort of thematic or dynamic development. The instrumental performances, while rather basic, are still quite effective in creating the lush aural textures which sustain these nine tracks. Some of the tunes are more convincing than others, but overall this is fairly good as far as psych jamming albums go. Though still a few notches below the likes of Porcupine Tree or Ozric Tentacles, Melting Euphoria should find an ample audience among psychedelic rock fans with this release.
by Rob Walker, Published 1998-02-01
With their fourth release, Melting Euphoria has delivered their most engaging effort to date, and a major step forward from their previous two Cleopatra releases. For those not familiar with Melting Euphoria, they are a four-piece of guitars, bass, keys and electronics, and drums, playing in a neo-psych style that has its roots in the sonic explorations of early post-Barrett Pink Floyd, perhaps a bit higher on the energy scale, and updated with measured amounts of 90s technology (mostly in the keyboards and generated effects department). Apparently the band has totally given up on vocals (the first album featured poetry recitation on most tracks, the second and third featured female "space-whispers"), leaving their instrumental work to speak for itself. Drummer Mychael Merrill has always provided a solid foundation for the band's work, but with this release he and bassist Anthony Who reach a new pinnacle of power at the bottom end. Also new is guitarist Bobby Clie, who joined since the band's last release and brings the guitar work to an entirely new higher plane. Zero's keyboard work remains atmospheric and effects based, in more of a support capacity than a vehicle for soloing. The compositions have improved as well: gone are the open ended jams that fade in and fade out six minutes later — the material here, while far from complex, has nonetheless reached new levels of sophistication. For those who've never flown with Melting Euphoria before, this is an ideal point of embarkation. Highly recommended.
by Peter Thelen, Published 1998-02-01
A new Melting Euphoria album? Some might say it's hard to tell 'em apart. Melting Euphoria plays a style of psychedelic rock straight from The Haight (if I could just find my old power-hitter...). The band has been together for a while and is getting good at playing together — with this free form style of music it's essential. In the past Melting Euphoria just hasn't keep my attention, which may not be a bad thing, really. To be honest, this CD was better the less I paid attention to it. I mean not intently listening to it, but just letting it happen. The music is space rock; lots of Moog and strong lead guitar solos. There is no lack of talent here. Bobby, Mychael, Zero, and Anthony cut it up pretty well. The seeds and stems are gone. What matters is Inside the Gardens of the Mind kept me listening, a few times I wandered off, but it kept drawing me back. The second half of this album really picks up, the songs coalescing into that primal groove. A mindstate where drums, bass, guitar and synth. pull you off on a journey to deep space. If Hawkwind's Space Ritual, Ozric Tentacles, or You era Gong are your cup of tea, you may find a doorway in this album.
by Dane Carlson, Published 1998-02-01
Related artist(s): Melting Euphoria
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