Underrated Texan heavy rockers The Linus Pauling Quartet have a persistent tendency to fascinate. Whether they’re delving into cult nerd ideology writing a single about Cthulhu (review here) or partnering with a writer publishing under the Oxford Press — which is no small shakes as far as academic publishing goes — to pay homage to theoretical physicist Max Planck, or just riffing out stoner for stoner’s sake, there always seems to be a purpose behind what they do.
It was recently revealed that this fall, their new album, Ampalanche, will be released by Italian imprint Vincebus Eruptum Recordings, the label wing of the long-running print ‘zine of the same name — someone whose tastes it’s safe to say you can trust, in other words — and “Planck” is the first single to come from that outing. It will be released digitally May 26, and is set to be accompanied by a new video, as the band explains in the info below, sent down the PR wire:
Linus Pauling Quartet to release single/video this 26 May celebrating theoretical physicist Max Planck. (Wait, WHAT?!!! … is there going to be a test at the end of this?)
If there is one thing the Linus Pauling Quartet knows how to do, it’s to defy expectations. After a drop-C, gut punching, metal riffage anthem celebrating Cthulhu in 2014, the lads return this month with “Planck” – a song that veers more to the band’s melodic psych sensibilities and celebrates the work of Max Planck. While the song is to be featured in the forthcoming album “Ampalanche” later this year, this track is being released early as a digital single and a video to coincide with the release of the book Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War on Oxford University Press. The author of the book, Brandon R. Brown, also happens to be the main lyricist for the song (we like to say he’s Michael Moorcock to our B.O.C.). Below are the full details of the song, a link to the audio file, temporary press preview video link, lyrics, links to the book’s publisher as well as other stuff.
“The same thrill, the same awe and mystery, comes again and again when we look at any question deeply enough. With more knowledge comes a deeper, more wonderful mystery, luring one on to penetrate deeper still. Never concerned that the answer may prove disappointing, with pleasure and confidence we turn over each new stone to find unimagined strangeness leading on to more wonderful questions and mysteries – certainly a grand adventure!
It is true that few unscientific people have this particular type of religious experience. Our poets do not write about it; our artists do not try to portray this remarkable thing. I don’t know why. Is nobody inspired by our present picture of the universe? This value of science remains unsung by singers. You are reduced to hearing not a song or a poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age.” – Richard Feynman, The Value of Science (1955)
A curious thing happened after I finished reading this essay at the end of a Feynman anthology; an old friend of ours, Brandon Brown, mentioned that he was completing a book on Max Planck. Intrigued, I asked Brandon if he’d be so good as to pass along to me a draft and he did just that. Almost immediately I was sucked into the book. It’s with a bit of shame that I admit that I wasn’t very familiar with Planck before reading the book but Brandon’s style was fluid and accessible for a dope such as myself. I discovered that not only a new world of science opened up before me, but that I had also gained a better understanding of Planck and the world he lived in.
Perhaps with Feynman’s words still echoing in my brain, I took to the idea of writing a song about Planck to accompany the book. I asked Brandon if he wanted to collaborate on the lyrics and Brandon, the kind of person who isn’t afraid to take a chance, was more than happy to have a go at it with us. A few months of work later, Brandon, Clinton, and I had the song completed. In the studio, each member of the band added their own little flair to the song as well. The result of all this now lays before you.
The words reflect a mixture of Max’s scientific work as well a meditation on the great loss to history of his correspondence and scientific records under allied bombing during World War II. The lyrics are largely Brandon’s with contributions by myself and Clinton though we do take Planck’s own words during the bridge when we sing “Du musst glauben.”
Planck is the first single from the Linus Pauling Quartet’s forthcoming album, “Ampalache,” which will be available Winter 2015 on Vincebus Eruptum Recordings.
This early digital release coincides with the publication of the book “Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War” by Brandon R. Brown who also penned the vast majority of the song’s lyrics.
Video Premiere Date: 26 May 2015
Digital Single Edition Available: 26 May 2015
© 2015 The Linus Pauling Quartet/Brandon R. Brown (BMI)
Music & Lyrics by the Linus Pauling Quartet and Brandon R. Brown