Saturday, April 11, 2015

Acid King: Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere

Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere (April 17, 2015)
Acid King

Before I start, let's point out the obvious:

That is a freakin' awesome album cover. Now we know where Pallando and Alatar were: fightin' motha fuckin' aliens on a goddamn space tiger. I would be severely disappointed if someone didn't have this painted on the side of their van. The Dungeon Master of the campaign I'm on needs to write this in somehow. This is something a lot of metal bands need to do for their artwork more: the combination of epic, over-the-top, hilarious, and unforgettable.

I thought the music couldn't possibly beat the art, but I was wrong. Acid King's introductory track (simply entitled "Intro") gives you a little taste of what's to come. The guitar and bass are fuzzier than a cat orgy. The drums almost turn into a lead instrument, playing different fills to shake things up. Together, their groove washes over you slowly in gentle waves, and by the end you're nearly drowning in bongwater.

Guitarist and singer Lori S pulls out some sweet riffage on "Silent Pictures". There's a quality to the guitar's tone that almost sounds like lamentation. Nearly three minutes in, we finally hear her voice cry out from the murk. Like a ghost, she haunts the ears and gives you a sense of doom in both senses of the word. It's a nine minute song, but you'll wish you were hearing more. Some people have argued that stoner metal is boring and monotonous. but "Coming Down from Outer Space" proves that statement wrong. Something about it just pumps me up; maybe it's the epic pounding of the drums or the Geezer Butler-y basslines (you can hear them if you listen hard enough). It's a great jam, along with "Laser Headlights", to turn on while driving on through the night. "Red River" and "Infinite Skies" are simply massive songs. They go back to the norm of being a bit on the slower side, but they each have their moments where psychotic psychedelic rock shines through and might make the hippie in you wanna party.

The title track, "Center of Everywhere", is probably my favorite track. It seems like the perfect stoner song. The reverb on Lori's guitar and voice is hypnotic. She turns into a prophet and I listen. The outro brings us back to the intro, providing a nice little bookend for the album. We're back to where we started.

And now I just want to listen to it again.
Acid King is one of those bands I wish I had gotten into earlier. This was my first full-ride on one of their albums. I had rarely heard anyone talk about them and now I shake my fist at those people, wondering how they were out of their minds. Go get it, dig through your secret stash, and tune in.

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