There’s always a bit of contradiction with psychedelic rock. By definition the aggression and dynamics of rock music might not marry out with a listener’s idea of something transportative. Rock that unpicks itself in a mellow drift or rock that goes crazy in unexpected or volatile ways.
It’s also probably as sober as market research, what does your audience like and what are you most happy playing? The type of things you sing about, the tone of your sound, the things that make your listeners chose to listen to your music over the infinite alternatives.
For me, I like a blend of these two binary points and longer tracks tend to suit my idea of fully relaxing into an album. Sorcerer is one such album that for whatever reason, I’ve always totally loved from the instant I first heard it.
The year previously, Ed White, one half of the band with his brother Andy, released a beautiful solo album called Dang under the name Eola. Dang was unusual in that it married a form electronic with a modern imagining of gospel music. It seems fitting that this unusual form at least helps to elevate Sorcerer into this ecstatic hybridisation of guitar rock and space.
Breathe calmly builds into a fantastically understated groove as echoes tug at the vocal. At the very point it seems to peak, the whole thing dissolves into long spacey smudges. By the time huge rumbling figure starts in the title track Sorcerer, it’s clear this album is carving out a refreshing soup of motoric west coast rock. Halfway through, the whole thing breaks doing into little more than drummed fragments before whipping up another half-swamped groove. The 13-minute closer Opening starts off with a brilliant lilting figure before the guitar edges grow rougher before knitting vocals into a weird hymnal blanket.
The atmosphere throughout Sorcerer’s relativity brief 34 minutes conveys something that feels considerably bigger. It quickly creates a mood that’s much deeper than the sparse sonics used should reasonably allow. Whilst I’m still having fun exploring the groups discography, Sorcerer is superbly dipped in some highly addictive alchemy.
Get Sorcerer by Tonstartssbandht here