Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Album Review: Sri Aurobindo - Cave Painting

If I could live in an alternate universe, I might just want it to be the one in which Baltimore psychsmiths Sri Aurobindo reside. Their Cave Painting record, released last year, is heavy, glorious mind-fuckery on a grand scale indeed, full of drone and smoke rings and everything nice. Cave Painting is also possessed of a cover that gives you an actual notion of what your listening experience might be like, all blurred, double vision, disorientation, and the promise of lapsing into a trance-like state at any moment.

After the scuzzy, tribally-dosed intro of the title track "Cave Painting," the band really gets going with "Soul Vibrations of Man." It's not a long song, but it packs a wallop. Witness the guitar contort and shapeshift, witness the distant howl of impeccably washed-out vocals. "Towards The Sun" is the song that really pushed me down the rabbithole with this record, taking cues from The Black Angels, peyote, and saturated nightmarescapes. It is heavy, it is luxuriantly hefty, and it is all sorts of dynamite.

But wait, there's more! "My Peak Is Too High" gets all sorts of catchy right away, getting about as dancey as a psych rock song can (well, done by anyone apart from Thee Oh Sees maybe). There's something charming about the slight warble of the vocals in this one, as if they're being delivered almost as an afterthought. "Find The Door" really gets me good, it's a big rambling mess of a sprawling sonic trip with much meaty guitar trickeration and drums that dance the devil through the song's eight plus minutes.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre gets a nod in the delightful "My Luv is Stoned," guitars owing much to the jangle of Matt Hollywood's work. The song itself falls somewhere between The Zombies and the aforementioned BJM, undertones of poppy sweetness to be found layered under all that heft. The closing piece, "Rest My Mind," really sounds as though it was ripped from some obscure 60s record, and with all that shimmering heat it's the perfect way to end things.

Sri Aurobindo, friends. Remember that name. If what they come up with next is anything near as good as this effort, you'll soon hear my speak of them again.

mp3: Soul Vibrations of Man (Sri Aurobindo from Cave Painting)

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