Guardian Alien

Psych Fest Record Reviews

Guardian Alien

Spiritual Emergency (Thrill Jockey)

Despite the esoteric nature of this post-rock/free jazz hybrid, Greg Fox's voracious percussion acumen springboards it far beyond late-night head noise. Even as passages of Guardian Alien's second LP fall apart, the Brooklynites' vision keeps the experiment from driving into tangential cul-de-sacs. Opening salvo "Tranquilizer" combines resonant tabla runs with cut-up vocal loops and slippery, underwater bass, and the side-long title track crackles to life with sped-up TV news-style synthesizer providing a backdrop to transpersonal psychologist Stanislav Grof explaining why hallucinations shouldn't be dismissed out of hand as pathological. His theories become more plausible as Fox's hypnotic drumming leads to a free-form intermingling of shahi baaja, guitar, and high-ceilinged chants. The epic finally coalesces into an explosive, screaming climax that finds clarity in chaos. (Sun., 4pm, Levitation Tent)

***.5

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Xetas
The Tower (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, May 26, 2017

Texas Platters
Phoebe Hunt & the Gatherers
Shanti's Shadow (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, May 26, 2017

More by Greg Beets
Texas Platters
Old 97’s
Graveyard Whistling (Record Review)

May 19, 2017

Texas Platters
Roky Erickson
All That May Do My Rhyme (Record Review)

May 19, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)