Review & Track Premiere: Seedy Jeezus with Tony Reed, Live in Liège

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on July 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Seedy Jeezus with tony reed live in liege

[Click play above to stream ‘Polaris Oblique’ from Seedy Jeezus with Tony Reed’s limited Live in Liege LP. Album will be available on the band’s upcoming European tour (dates here).]

The front cover of the LP is emblazoned with the heading ‘The Broken String Incident,’ and indeed, Seedy Jeezus guitarist/vocalist Lex “Mr. Frumpy” Waterreus does break a string as the Australian outfit make their stop in Liège, Belgium, on July 18, 2018. “Incident” might be stretching it — so far as I know no ambassadors were recalled — but you gotta call it something, and it underscores the intention of the limited-to-150-copies, only-available-on-tour LP, which is to capture a bootleg-style feel. The artwork for Live in Liège is taken from Waterreus‘ own tour poster for their 2018 European run, which was their first — the tour they’ll sell the LP on is their second — with Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed filling in on bass for Paul Crick, who couldn’t make the trip from Australia with Waterreus and drummer Mark Sibson.

And if Reed seems like an out-of-the-blue choice, the relationship there runs deeper than just the live shows, with Reed having traveled from his home in Washington to record Seedy Jeezus in their native Melbourne for their 2015 self-titled debut and again for last year’s Polaris Oblique (review here) — he’ll reportedly produce their next album as well whenever that happens. Bottom line, then, is Tony Reed is about as close as one could get to being in Seedy Jeezus, and sometimes he is kind of in the band. He plays like it, taking on a backing vocalist role in the 10-minute side B launcher “Dripping from the Eye of the Sun,” stepping in to introduce Waterreus during the second round of band introductions before they finish the set with “Oh Lord Pt. 2” from the sophomore LP. That the two parties would fit well together isn’t a huge surprise, since both play a style of largely straight-ahead heavy rock with a strong foundation in the classics of the form, an emphasis on songwriting as well as the tightness of the presentation. In the rhythm section with Sibson, Reed‘s right at home throughout “Polaris Oblique”  and the subsequent “Everything’ll Be Alright” — billed as “Everything’s Alright” on the back cover; a notable change in tense — and all throughout the 40-minute set that unfolds.

By the time they got to Péniche la Légia in Liège, Seedy Jeezus had already been on the road for somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 days, and they sound like it. The actual audio on Live in Liège is fairly raw. If we’re going on the scale of bootlegs, it’s definitely a soundboard, and it’s gorgeous compared to some recorded-in-a-jacket-pocket DAT shows I’ve heard in my time, but neither is it a polished live record even as much as was Seedy Jeezus‘ 2016 offering, Live in Netphen: Freak Valley 2015 (discussed here). Again, it’s not supposed to be. The whole idea behind this release is that it’s something special that documents this special moment of their European tour supporting their second album. As Waterreus rips into the solo at the furious outset of “Sun in My Car” at the end of side A — stopping amid that triumphal boogie between measures to give the crowd a well-earned moment to holler, whistle, etc. — before, indeed, that string breaks and he does the first round of band introductions presumably in the midst of changing it out. If it didn’t say so on the cover, they’d have gotten away with it no problem. No one would know.

Seedy Jeezus with tony reed live in liege back cover

Still, if that’s something to stand the show out from the others on the tour, they handle it smoothly enough, which is the kind of thing a band can do without being derailed when they’ve already been on the road for a week-plus. “Sun in My Car” picks up in all the more energized fashion when it returns and blasts off en route to the interstellar drift of “Dripping from the Eye of the Sun” after the side flip, recalling the initial punch of “Polaris Oblique” and “Everything’ll Be Alright” at the start of the set — those two also lead off the Polaris Oblique album in succession — and prefacing “Barefoot Travellin’ Man” and “Oh Lord Pt. 2” still to come. Seedy Jeezus excel at this kind of madcap shuffle, and Live in Liège brings that out well, but their range has never been limited to just one thing, as “Dripping from the Eye of the Sun” demonstrates that with its slower roll and more spacious feel, which isn’t something that one would necessarily expect to come across on a live record, since it’s doubly hard to set the mood for someone listening when that person isn’t at the gig, but Seedy Jeezus deliver the set as it happened and the rest takes care of itself.

I imagine there are some who would hear Live in Liège and not understand the “warts and all”-style vibe it hones or why a band would even put out a recording of a set where the guitarist breaks a string in the middle of a song. But isn’t it obvious? It’s cinéma vérité — the most stripped down manner in which they could showcase the reality of what the tour was like. The only way it could be more real is if they recorded the 23 hours that day they spent driving, sleeping, no doubt, waiting for the time when they could get on stage and kick ass as they do here. By the time they get to the end of “Barefoot Travellin’ Man,” the scorch in Waterreus‘ soloing is so encompassing that whatever concerns might exist about fidelity simply dissipate. You just get into it and that’s all there is. This is the bootleg ideal, of course. Seedy Jeezus put you where the show is happening just as they put the audience who was there where they wanted them.

This may only be a limited LP, offered up in plain style through the band’s own Blown Music imprint with no super-deluxe special edition or anything like that, but it represents something special about their approach just the same, where it’s not just the fact that they boogie down or riff out or get spacey or whatever it might be, but that they do so with such obvious, resonant joy. I can’t imagine a more compelling argument to go see a band than that.

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Seedy Jeezus to Tour Europe in Aug./Sept. with Tony Reed on Bass

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Hey, if it works, go with it. Last year, as they were getting ready to release their second album, Polaris Oblique (review here), Melbourne heavy psych rockers Seedy Jeezus announced they’d tour Europe with Tony Reed sitting in on bass. Reed, best known for his variety of musical projects including Mos Generator and his near-constant appearances in phrases like “mixed and mastered by…,” hails from Port Orchard, Washington, and had recorded with Seedy Jeezus in the past.

Clearly everybody got along pretty well, because here we are in 2019 and Seedy Jeezus will make a return to Europe toward the tail end of this summer with Reed once again handling the low end. They’ll also have Davide Straccione in tow, and my immediate response to the news was, “Live album please,” which was not greeted with an outright “no,” so I’ll take that to mean that at very least the thought isn’t abhorrent to them. That’ll do for today.

Specific dates for the run haven’t been announced yet, but here’s word from the band that it’s happening, as per the social medias:

seedy jeezus

Well folks …. it’s on !! We have snagged together enough shows to make it viable.

Seedy Jeezus ( with Tony Reed ) will be hitting the road again. Late August to Mid September.

We have shows in Germany , Poland, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and France booked.

Many thanks to the folks who have helped us to put this together and to those who have offered to help us …. unfortunately we can’t travel everywhere, but we have notes for the next tour… we will be in touch.

Paul is unable to tour at this time… so Tony Reed ( the mastermind behind Mos Generator) has generously agreed to join us again along with Davide Straccione. He’s one of us now !! We love Davide

So expect venue and dates announced soon…. and please come out and say hi to us while we’re nearby.

Keep it Seedy !!

Seedy Jeezus is usually:
Mark Sibson – Drums
Lex Waterreus – Guitar/Vocals
Paul Crick – Bass/Noises

http://www.seedyjeezus.com
https://www.facebook.com/seedyjeezuspage/
https://laybarerecordings.com/
Ripple Music website
Blown Music website

Seedy Jeezus, Polaris Oblique (2018)

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Seedy Jeezus, Polaris Oblique: Light in the Sun’s Eye

Posted in Reviews on July 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

SEEDY JEEZUS POLARIS OBLIQUE

Theirs is a sound built on headphone-worthy psychedelia and 8-track-ready classic heavy rock groove, and when Seedy Jeezus made their self-titled debut in 2015, they seemed to know it. Based in Melbourne, the Aussie three-piece would go on later that year to release a standalone single titled Echoes in the Sky (discussed here), and would follow it with the 2016 live album, Live in Netphen: Freak Valley 2015 (discussed here), a 2016 collaboration with guitarist Isaiah Mitchell of Earthless and Golden Void called Tranquonauts (review here) and a 2017 single covering Led Zeppelin‘s “Communication Breakdown” (video premiered here). All of this has come alongside a healthy amount of touring, and word early on of a second LP in progress. With support in Europe from Lay Bare Recordings for the domestic Blown Music release, Polaris Oblique arrives as that sophomore full-length, with nine tracks and 41 minutes of classic-gone-modern heavy rock that brings all the bluesy thrust of Lucifer’s Friend and Black Sabbath and brings it into a now-style context; not at all retro, but strongly influenced.

The songs themselves — the longest of which is is 6:41 mellow groover “3 Million Light Years” — are rife with the chemistry between guitarist/vocalist Lex “Mr. Frumpy” Waterreus, bassist Paul Crick and drummer Mark Sibson and show a dynamic range that reaches from the unmitigated scorch of “Oh Lord (Part One)” to the subdued balladry of “My Gods are Stone,” which boasts a guest guitar appearance from the aforementioned Isaiah Mitchell, to the Floydian weaving of acoustics and electrics on the methodically-paced “Dripping from the Eye of the Sun.” Waterreus as a singer is capable of carrying across the variety of moods these tracks and the rest, and I won’t take away from the contributions of Crick and Sibson in terms of rhythm and enhancing the changes and deepening the execution overall, but at its heart, Polaris Oblique is very much a guitar album. Its foundation is in the riffs, and the recording — by Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed, who also adds lead guitar to “Oh Lord (Part Two)” — highlights lead work as a crucial element even as side B moves into its farthest-out in the penultimate nodder “Treading Water.”

Seedy Jeezus wouldn’t be the first heavy rock act to put the emphasis on guitar by any means, but the character in Waterreus‘ playing is a defining element here as well — so it’s both what he plays and how he plays it, whether it’s the swaggering rip and shuffle of opener “Intro – Polaris Oblique” or the laid back riding of the bassline he does in “3 Million Lives” following the post-Stooges shove of “Everything Will be Alright.” Add to this a remarkable sense of flow across the entire release, and Polaris Oblique almost feels like a song unto itself. Not that it was written that way — it’s definitely a collection of individual pieces, just that the way it moves between them almost follows a similar pattern of a classic structure. There are the initial rockers in “Intro – Polaris Oblique” and “Everything Will Be Alright,” a wistful departure in “3 Million Lives” and a dug in mellow groove on “My Gods Are Stone” before “Oh Lord (Part One)” kicks everything in the ass and the trilogy of “Oh Lord (Part Two),” “Dripping from the Eye of the Sun” and “Treading Water” dive deeper into psych-prog nuance and “Barefoot Travelin’ Man” closes out by returning to the earthbound vibrancy of the opening segment.

seedy jeezus photo barry c douglas

The whole album reads as a well-structured piece, with individual parts of what whole making their own impressions along the way, tied together by their focus around the guitar even as they express varying ideas and sensibilities. And it’s an added bit of intrigue that Waterreus would bring in Mitchell and Reed to play guitar. Sure, Seedy Jeezus has collaborated with both before — Reed also recorded the debut, and there was the already-noted Tranquonauts with Mitchell — but it’s clearly more of a personal choice. The band wanted those guys to be a part of their album. Listening to Waterreus shred to pieces on “Oh Lord (Part One)” and match wits with Reed on the subsequent “Part Two” it’s not like he can’t hold his own when it comes to tearing into a solo. It’s not like they’re covering for his not being up to the task by bringing in these players. One suspects it was as much about wanting to hang out in the studio with MitchellReed was obviously already there — as it was anything else. The results are striking either way.

One might say the same of the album in general. It’s not overly showy in terms of technical hijinks, but it does have a precise aspect to its personality, and it makes abundantly clear that Seedy Jeezus know what they want to get out of each track included, up to and including the raucous finish they provide with “Barefoot Travelin’ Man,” which smoothly brings Polaris Oblique to its finish by delving one more time into heavier blues pulsations and a fervent heavy ’70s groove, propelled by Sibson‘s drums, which are worthy in sound and delivery of a comparison to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. In fact, as much as Polaris Oblique puts the guitar at the center, it’s Crick and Sibson both who actively allow that to be the case. One gets the sense that either would be comfortable leading the charge, but that they’re well at home in the pocket as it is, swinging away and offering moments of flourish like that which Crick brings to the midsection of “3 Million Lives,” matching step with Waterreus‘ guitar ahead of a turn to speedy shuffle that nearly hits The Atomic Bitchwax levels of head-spin before resuming the song’s core slower tempo.

This dynamic too is emblematic of a classic power trio, and it works well in accordance with Seedy Jeezus‘ methods overall. In their aesthetic, craft and performance, they bring a traditionalist feel, and yet Reed‘s production is nothing if not shimmering with a modern clarity. Ultimately, this interaction is less of a push-pull than it is a rare alignment, and taken in consideration with the fluidity in and between the songs the whole way through, Polaris Oblique is a marked achievement when it comes to further establishing Seedy Jeezus as a presence of note in the international underground sphere. Whether you listen on headphones, on blaring speakers, on vinyl, CD or digital, there’s much to dig into and much to dig across the record’s thoroughly unpretentious, welcoming span.

Seedy Jeezus, Polaris Oblique (2018)

Seedy Jeezus website

Seedy Jeezus on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings website

Ripple Music website

Blown Music website

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Seedy Jeezus: Polaris Oblique Preorders Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

seedy jeezus photo barry c douglas

There’s no exact release date listed below for Seedy Jeezus‘ impending second album, Polaris Oblique, but I’d imagine it’ll be out before or around the time the Melbourne three-piece hit the road in Europe — with Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed on bass no less — this coming July, and since “June” was the original timeframe floated for it, yeah, that makes sense. Either way, it’s coming and you can preorder it as of now from Lay Bare Reccordings which will handle the European release. It’ll also be out through Ripple Music distribution in the US and Blown Music in the band’s native Australia.

Of course, the vinyl’s limited and all that. Details follow, courtesy of the PR wire:

SEEDY JEEZUS POLARIS OBLIQUE

Seedy Jeezus – Polaris Oblique

In 2015 Seedy Jeezus released their 1st record on Lay Bare Recordings; in 2018 the 2nd record is ready to shatter your music spine. Called Polaris Oblique and on presale Monday 21st of May, 7am CET.

The band has evolved from the first album, but has retained their bite and bark. There are crazy jams and heavy riffs with a dose of 70’s influences that has always bubbled under in the bands sound since its formation. Many who followed the band since the first album will know where the band is at musically. There is a maturity in the band’s sound and songs. When they get mellow is an almost Floydian world you’re looking into and when they hit the heavy, you know it’s on. Strap yourself in and just wait….it’s coming

‘Polaris Oblique’ comes in a release of 500 pcs, of which 100 pcs are a DELUXE Version.
Each 100 pcs have a different color.

The European edition is LIMITED to 90 pcs. only and has its own unique color.
Exclusively available in Europe via Lay Bare Recordings.
– Gatefold
– Metallic Foil Artwork
– 150gr. vinyl
– Colored version

Click here for the pre-order:
?https://laybarerecordings.com/release/polaris-oblique-by-seedy-jeezus-lbr019

US & Canadian orders for the STANDARD version are advised to go here to save on shipping: http://heavyripples.bigcartel.com

Seedy Jeezus is:
Mark Sibson – Drums
Lex Waterreus – Guitar/Vocals
Paul Crick – Bass/Noises

http://www.seedyjeezus.com
https://www.facebook.com/seedyjeezuspage/
https://laybarerecordings.com/
Ripple Music website
Blown Music website

Seedy Jeezus, Polaris Oblique album teaser

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Seedy Jeezus to Tour Europe in July with Tony Reed on Bass; Polaris Oblique Due in June

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Looking like a busy summer ahead for Aussie heavy psych rockers Seedy Jeezus. Their second album, titled Polaris Oblique, is due out in June via Blown Music in Australia, Lay Bare Recordings in Europe and Ripple Music‘s distribution in the US — what? no Abraxas to cover South America? — and the following month, they’ll take off on a European tour for which they’ll be joined by none other than Mos Generator‘s Tony Reed, taking on the bassist role in place of Paul Crick, who’s unable to make the trip.

Reed is as natural a fit for the position as anyone could possibly be. He’s recorded both of Seedy Jeezus‘ full-lengths, and he guests on the new album as well — so too does Isaiah Mitchell of Earthless, with whom Seedy Jeezus previously collaborated as Tranquonauts (review here) in 2016 — so Reed is about as close as anyone can get to the band without actually being a member, which I suppose he will be now, at least for a time.

The dates are still coming together for that run — if you want Seedy Jeezus to play by you, hit them up and make it happen — but there’s plenty of time between now and June/July, so keep an eye out for updates. In the meantime, there’s a teaser video for Polaris Oblique that the band put up recently that gives a little sampling of some new music, and the sounds bode well. Either way, more to come.

Dig it:

seedy jeezus europe 2018

Tony Reed is playing bass on the tour for us as Paul can’t tour due to commitments. SO Tony who has recorded and produced both of our albums has offered to jump in and play bass for Paul on the tour. Tony Reed is like the 4th member of the band. We trust his instincts and ears when working with him, and he knows the music better than anyone outside the band…so his offer was an easy one to accept.

We are still looking to fill some dates on the tour, so if you have a hookup and wanna get Seedy Jeezus to your town, hit us up… we wanna gig, and share the love.

The teaser for the new Seedy Jeezus album ‘Polaris Oblique’. The album will be out in June, available via Lay Bare Recordings in Europe, and Ripple Distribution in the USA, as well as Blown Music here in Australia.!!

Video footage by Barry C Douglas.

Seedy Jeezus is:
Mark Sibson – Drums
Lex Waterreus – Guitar/Vocals
Paul Crick – Bass/Noises

http://www.seedyjeezus.com
https://www.facebook.com/seedyjeezuspage/
https://laybarerecordings.com/
Ripple Music website
Blown Music website

Seedy Jeezus, Polaris Oblique album teaser

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Seedy Jeezus Premiere “Communication Breakdown” Video; New 7″ Available Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

seedy jeezus photo barry c douglas

In what will reportedly be a series of seven-inch offerings, Melbourne heavy psych rock trio Seedy Jeezus today issue a new single featuring a cover of Led Zeppelin‘s ‘Communication Breakdown.’ Born out of a languid jam between guitarist/vocalist Lex “Mr. Frumpy” Waterreus, bassist Paul Crick and drummer Mark Sibson, the new recording comes paired with “Bad Girl,” which was originally tracked for the band’s first record and never released. So basically it’s something brand new and something older and they’re both still new. Best of all worlds.

To mark the occasion — did I mention this was happening today? like, right now? okay, good — they’ve got a video together for the languid four-and-a-half-minute “Communication Breakdown” that pairs live shots of the band with manipulated footage from the 1967 Roger Corman movie The Trip, in seedy jeezus communication breakdown vinylwhich we see a drugged-out Peter Fonda running around basically looking for what in a clever twist turns out to be a Seedy Jeezus show. Very nice, gentlemen. I see what you did there. That’s a good bit of fun, but the highlight of course is the track itself, and as one awaits news of the next Seedy Jeezus long-player — which will hopefully arrive in 2018 amid however many 7″s the trio end up putting out — their take on the classic from Zeppelin‘s 1969 self-titled debut still manages to emphasize the personality of the Aussie outfit itself and how easily they make their way between straight-ahead aspects of heavy rock and trippier fare.

The numbers on the single are super-limited for those who’d chase down a physical version — the one with the obi strip, for example, is an edition of 50 — so if you’re hemming and hawing about picking one up, that would seem to be the wrong way to go. That’s not me trying to tell anybody how to live their life; I just don’t want to see you miss out if you don’t want to miss out. That’s all.

I’m thrilled to host the premiere of the “Communication Breakdown” video, which you can watch below, followed by more info on the 7″, how to get it, and of course the links to do so if you so choose.

Please enjoy:

Seedy Jeezus, “Communication Breakdown” official video

We are dropping a 7″ this Thursday. A cover of “Communication Breakdown.” The recording evolved from a spontaneous jam at Studio One B in Melbourne, and was recorded by Dave Warner. Lex went home and recorded some vocals on the jam and then it was handed to Tony Reed (Mos Generator) to mix and master at Heavyhead in Port Orchard. So we thought wed drop it to vinyl and threw “Bad Girl” (a track left from the debut album) on the other side. Tony engineered “Bad Girl” as well.

There will be only 50 Deluxe 7″ with an exclusive colour of vinyl, tarot style insert, Obi, insert poster and Stickers, and a Standard version of 7″ record, and insert.

Thursday midday these will be available for sale. Official Launch will be Friday Week at the B.East with Grasshole. So keep Dec. 22 free.

You can buy the 7″ and select the pick up at gig option to save postage.

Released on Blown Music in Australia and available from www.seedyjeezus.com until sold out.

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Seedy Jeezus to Record New Album in January with Tony Reed Producing

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 8th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

I guess my only question as regards a new Seedy Jeezus album is when the hell they had time to write it. The Melbourne three-piece have hardly stopped since their self-titled debut came out last year, offering up singles, a 12″ EP, a live record and a newly-issued collaboration with EarthlessIsaiah Mitchell (review here), for whose Australian tour they also served as backing band in addition to traveling to Europe to tour on their own, so, what? Not big on sleep, I guess? Maybe they can catch a nap before tracking on what’s been tentatively dubbed Seedy Jeezus II begins in January, but somehow it seems doubtful.

Once again the trio will bring Mos Generator guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed to Australia to handle production duties. Reed worked with the band on the first full-length and has done various mixing and mastering for their subsequent releases along the way.

The band sent the following down the PR wire:

seedy-jeezus-with-tony-reed

Seedy Jeezus announce recording of the follow up to the debut Seedy Jeezus album will happen in January 2017. Tony Reed (Mos Generator) again will be the man behind the dials capturing Seedy Jeezus.

Since the debut album was released in 2015 Seedy Jeezus have released two 7″ singles, a single-sided etched 12″, a LIVE album from their performance at Freak Valley 2015, and collaborative full-length album ‘Tranquonauts’ with Isaiah Mitchell (Earthless), and had the debut release reissued on Kozmik Artifactz in Germany.

“Seedy Jeezus are absolutely stoked to have Tony Reed on board for the recording of the second album,” said guitarist/vocalist Lex Waterreus. “Tony has great ears which you need when recording, a wealth of experience and an approach that suits us as a band. Tony gets exactly where we are coming from with our music and knows how to translate that to vinyl.”

The current working title for the album is Seedy Jeezus II, but that will no doubt change once the album is finished.

The album will be out mid 2017. Stay tuned!!

http://www.seedyjeezus.com
https://www.facebook.com/seedyjeezuspage/

Seedy Jeezus, “Chasing the Dragon’s Tail” Live at Freak Valley 2015

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Seedy Jeezus with Isaiah Mitchell, Tranquonauts: Gleam in the Rift

Posted in Reviews on November 1st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

seedy-jeezus-with-isaiah-mitchell-tranquonauts

Plucked from out of the cosmic ether and joining forces for Tranquonauts — maybe the name of the band, definitely the name of the album, possibly also the name of the sleepiest ’80s Saturday morning cartoon ever ported from Japan in order to sell action figures — the pairing of Melbourne heavy psych rockers Seedy Jeezus and Isaiah Mitchell isn’t overbearingly obvious. It’s not like the Earthless/Golden Void guitarist and the Aussie trio of guitarist/noisemaker/graphic artist Lex Waterreus, bassist Paul Crick and drummer Mark Sibson hang out on weekends, what with living on different continents at all.

Together with keyboardist Matt Murphy, the collaborative unit Seedy Jeezus with Isaiah Mitchell execute two 20-minute instrumental vinyl sides, flowing and jammy-feeling, with a story told in seven words across the two titles “The Vanishing Earth” and “Escape Through the Rift.” Hard to be more concise than that, and for two tracks — which check in at 19:57 (opening with the longest song; immediate points) and 19:17, respectively — given to such open-feeling flow and which show no concern with getting anywhere other than as far out as they can go, presumably through that rift, that efficiency speaks to some underlying purpose.

When the release of Tranquonauts through Blown Music and Lay Bare Recordings was announced here, the B-side had a different title, “King of the Lepers,” so it’s not as if these things have been thrown together haphazardly, and the same goes for the sonic makeup of the tracks themselves. While the prevailing vibe drips from being so coated in lysergic ooze, there always remains a sense of intention behind the interstellar exploration in these pieces.

That’s impressive on its own, but becomes even more so when one factors in that Tranquonauts was recorded on two separate continents as well, with Waterreus, Crick, Sibson and Murphy working in Melbourne and Mitchell in California. The two groups have some history together, having shared a stage at Freak Valley in Germany on separate Earthless and Seedy Jeezus European tours and met there, but for not having actually gotten in a room to play, “The Vanishing Earth” and “Escape Through the Rift” are remarkably cohesive, with Murphy‘s keys adding Woo-esque flourish beneath washes of lead guitar early in the opener, bass and drums ensuring the structural integrity of the material remains intact even as it seems most likely to come flying apart later on.

Sibson and Crick turn in showcase performances on both “The Vanishing Earth” and “Escape Through the Rift,” the latter of which begins with a description of a peyote trip sampled by Waterreus. Not so much for the flash in their playing, but for the class of it, how they balance pushing the jams forward with giving the guitars room to ride out the extended solos as the keys bring an added sense of dynamics and melody.

seedy-jeezus-with-isaiah-mitchell-tranquonauts-back-cover

Likewise, the mix — Waterreus edited, Jason Fuller mixed and mastered — is gorgeous. “The Vanishing Earth” consumes with its depth, emphasizing the hypnotic repetitions at play, but it never gets boring or seems to lose its direction. The guitars step back late in the opener to some degree, and keys and effects come forward in a building wash that seems to signal the approaching end, and they ultimately finish quietly, setting up the drift to come on side B as the patient beginning of “Escape Through the Rift” gets underway following and coinciding with the aforementioned sample.

Here again, Murphy‘s keys shine, but the jazzy bass and guitar interplay accompanying isn’t to be undervalued. As one might expect, the two inclusions on Tranquonauts flow together pretty well — there’s no way they couldn’t given their makeup, frankly, unless the record was a complete failure — but there are distinctions in personality between them nonetheless. The opener takes a more active approach, has more push, particularly in its second half, while the closer holds to its subdued swirl into its organ-laced midsection and beyond, feeling even more psychedelic for it.

Granted, as they move through minute 14 and beyond, the freakout emerges until finally layers of what sounds like jet engines overhead bring the song to its conclusion, but even that is a gradual process — you’ll note a kick in the pace of Sibson‘s drums at 15:39 — and in the context of the prior jam, it feels like a natural progression from one to the other. Guitars and keys get fairly maddened by the end of “Escape Through the Rift,” but one assumes our heroes the Tranquonauts make it just in the nick of time and live to battle the forces of, what, squares?, for another day on some other planet, as amp noise rounds out the ending of the LP bearing the same name.

From Waterreus‘ holy-crap-inducing gatefold artwork, to the deluxe edition of the LP including a heavy rock-themed board game, to of course the songs that comprise it, Tranquonauts is a record that’s so clearly driven by the love of its creation that, if one can get down at all on the most basic level, it’s hard not to be won over by it. Will this be the first and only adventure of Seedy Jeezus with Isaiah Mitchell under the Tranquonauts banner? Seedy Jeezus served as the backing band for Mitchell‘s recent solo tour of Australia, so it would seem the plot only continues to thicken. If this is a one-off, though, it’s one bound to be treasured by those fortunate enough to snag it while the snagging’s good.

Tranquonauts, “The Vanishing Earth Pt. III

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