Rating: 9/10

Dead Gurus are a Minneapolis based cosmic outfit proffering some of the finest psychedelic grooves to grace the airwaves in some time. With band members coming from a range of other projects including names such as Magic Castles, Dreamweapon, Wet Hair and Daughters of the Sun, they were never going to disappoint but ACID BENCH which will be released on Wrong Way Records tomorrow really hits all the right notes.

The project which began with Jason Edmonds in a basement with a four track quickly blossomed into several folk tearing the entire building apart with wave after wave of fuzz noise. Hazes of psych churn into psycho haze whilst influences fade in and out of consciousness. The LP was mixed by band member Collin Gorman Weilan and mastered by Carim Clasmann who has also worked psych main stays such as Lorelle Meets the Obsolete and The Vacant Lots.

The seven track album, which will be released on stunning white with black haze vinyl opens with ‘Vibrations’, a dark and mysterious rolling fuzz monster that gathers momentum whilst a constant luring drone remains. ‘Mistress X’ ups the tempo, hitting hard with its insanely catchy rhythm, hypnotic harmonies and melodic vocals which cannot fail to evoke a response; in this case wholly positive. Tracks like this end and then you want to listen to them again straight after, that surely says something.

‘Serpent Fire’ twists and turns, much like its name would suggest, alternating lashings of static guitar fuzz, a pounding drum beat and a probing bass line which breaks through to prominence. The overall effect is a heady mixture of sound which draws attention to different elements as it progresses. ‘Celestial Fuzz’ is the calmest track on the LP, but that doesn’t mean it contains any less scuzzy guitars or assonant drumming, they just harmonise in a more sedate fashion. ‘Song for Saraswati’ calls deeply on Eastern mysticism with its enticing instrumental opening before sliding between droning guitars and hazy lyrics.

‘Starlight Sisters’ is the track that’s been attracting initial attention with its brutal aural assault of perfected repetition. ‘Black Silk’ is the longest track on the LP and chosen to close, with its kraut rock esq. drumming, throbbing bass line and swirling vocal and guitar duet. Repetition is the key to this track, and it executed superbly.

The dark allure of this album cannot be denied. The band warn us that no-one gets off the ACID BENCH, and after listening to this LP through several times, I wonder why anyone would want too…

Buy it here: https://wrongwayrecords.bandcamp.com/album/acid-bench