Heaping helping of high-profile local LPs
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Oct. 31, 2014
Psychedelic rock now suffers from bands that have never gotten within 10 feet of an altered state of mind or an occult ritual. Not so the Well. Samsara, the Austin trio's first full-length, scans as conceived during astral travels and recorded on another plane. Point track "Mortal Bones" signs the contract immediately, rhythm roiling between dinosaur throb and spaceship charge, lyrics pondering otherworldly tales of being "Seated on a mountaintop/ Born of fire, living god," plutonium riffs pulling from that point in rock history before metal ever saw an arena stage. The dual vocals of axeman Ian Graham and bass queen Lisa Alley arrive via shortwave transmission from elsewhere, possibly Mars. The bluesy "Trespass," romping "1000 Lies," and thudding "I Bring the Light" similarly call down spirits, but the majestic strength of "Eternal Well" brings the Well's mystically cosmic vision to full-on chromatic life. It's also telling that featured cover "Lucifer Sam" comes not from the set list of some AOR warhorse, but from the fevered mind of Syd Barrett. Crank the amps and let's get metaphysical.