Linus Pauling Quartet

C6H8O6 (September Gurls)

SXSW Records

Linus Pauling Quartet

C6H8O6 (September Gurls) Not surprisingly for a product of the same hometown as the Red Krayola and Rusted Shut, Houston's Linus Pauling Quartet is equal parts demented and lovable. A sevenpiece with several guests, the Quartet specializes in waves of psychedelic slog thicker than humidity coming off Buffalo Bayou in August. At the same time, C6H8O6 doesn't abandon humor or melody in its overwhelming sonic onslaught. Sabbathesque opener "Switzer" laments the night "we set the bong on fire," while a haunting string line works its way through the Honky-ish plod of "Thorn" like a bottlenose dolphin using sonar to navigate the souplike Houston Ship Channel. "La Tapatia" and "Cannonball" recall the Butthole Surfers' spastic shredding, whereas "Drunkest Man" simply cranks it like Dixie Witch or live My Morning Jacket. Heavy on the heavy. Except this is heavy. Bucket-loads of drone that hover for what seems like ages and then, of course, eventually explode. It all leads up to "Hall of Mirrors," a 15-minute odyssey where a refractory guitar lick sets the controls for the heart of the sun. Like Slater says in Dazed and Confused, "You couldn't handle that shit on strong acid, man." On second thought, maybe that's the only way you could. (Wednesday, March 17, 1am @ Blender Balcony at the Ritz)

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