Given the vast number of bands dedicated to encouraging their red-eyed acolytes to turn off their minds, relax and drift downstream, the prospect of a 65-minute journey into the outer reaches of instrumental stoner rock may not necessarily fill the average dopefiend’s head with giddy expectation.
Earthless: From The Ages
San Diego’s six-legged psych crew spread the jam
Fortunately, Earthless have established themselves as masters of this particularly languorous and nebulous art and From The Ages finds them in a distinctly exploratory mood. Although still firmly entrenched in the psychedelic freak-out realm, these sprawling jams have a focus and momentum that belies their drowsy gait, with the subtly soulful wailing of guitarist Isaiah Mitchell providing a hypnotic focal point.
At their best, on Uluru Rock’s undulating waves of hallucinatory fuzz, the three-piece triumph because theirs is a sound driven by naturalistic abandon, each of the musicians involved taking their own trip into the sonic stratosphere safe in the knowledge that their comrades are feeling the same buzz and huffing thick clouds of intoxicating distortion from the same bejewelled bong. It even sounds great without drugs, incidentally.