Deep Thoughts in Heavy Places

The Psychedelephants

The Abyss

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The band was listening to the mix.  We were all sitting in The Flying Blanket Control Room listening to and discussing the ending of their song, Triangle Sky.  “You know, “ Bob Hoag said, “this song is just so epic, what if it were to end the record and we just turned you guys loose all the way till the needle hit the label?”  And that is really the story of recording an original new song with The Psychedelephants.  Their last EP, The Abyss, saw the band take an interesting curve from some of the more blues inspired sounds of their previous release, Sun DrunkSubmerged in Water : A short song that acts as an introduction to the EP, (and bookends it when the themes return in the final track) it comes off like an intro to the Metallica Black Album, if Pink Floyd wrote it.  Whoah.  But if you thought you were in for a straight up rock album, that fuzz and grind that says something of the 70s landed in the 90s tells you differently.  Like the great progressive bands King Crimson, Pink Floyd, or Rush, this band brings that jam, those thoughtful lyrics, those layers, and those time changes.  Late is one of my favorite songs in the band’s catalog.  If there is one that challenges it as my favorite song on this album, it is Fall in Line.  You wanna write a song about conformity, Stepford people colliding into each other, and wrap it in a Progressive roll? Okay! Twist my Arm! But with A Whole New Low those guitars weep like a late Beatles song, until all of a sudden you are ready to head to the mosh pit. Timing Changes. Tempo flips. Progressive Gold.  Recording with Paul Balazs (AKA Danger Paul), singer and frontman for the band, it was obvious that not only is he incredibly skilled at musical arrangement, but he is a hell of a poet.  So, I am not saying he is Morrison, but… doors could open. The Psyched Guys are great musicians, weaving layers of Spenser’s jazzy drums, the crushing dynamics of Miles on bass, Colin layering the sound of different strings over the ensemble, and now, Paul has a Rhodes.  So enter the labyrinth of time, philosophy, and beautiful mayhem with a herd of thundering elephants rampaging through The Abyss.  For an Ep, a 4 full song album with an intro, you will not want to skip any tunes, curiosity will keep you locked in, and then you will repeat it.  That is Solid.