To many in Europe at least, Columbia, South Carolina, looks like a mysterious place from an obscure sci-fi horror novel. However, it is the capital of the aforementioned state and home to the disturbing and enigmatic psychedelic, blues-laden rock entity known as the SPACE COKE. Inflecting reality with their music, the group’s fundamental premise is that of a journey into space from which you move away from an oppressive society that has gone mad for power but from which you never return either. Even so, there is aural magic to SPACE COKEthe music of; despite his dizziness causing space travel, he is also firmly grounded in the vibrations and aura of the planet. This dizzying cocktail in constant evolution of concepts Madness makes the band’s music exciting yet relaxing, and a truly immeasurable listening experience.
Madness takes on a darker and more occult theme than the band’s previous albums. With processed vocals, equivocal lyrics and weird and confusing audio clips from weird movies of yesteryear, SPACE COKE reach that obscurity effortlessly, while the music itself, a selection of acid-soaked riffs and organ passages, creates a hazy, disorienting atmosphere that feels eerily heartwarming. This Twilight-Zone kaleidoscopic journey through the universe is influenced by a plethora of different musical backgrounds. Singer and guitarist Reno Gooch draws influences from Indian classical music from his childhood alongside more contemporary artists such as SUN RA, THE LIVELY YOUTH, BLACK SABBATH and rock legend Jimi Hendrix.
This eclectic mix provides the various foundations on which Madness was built. This only adds to the album’s deep complexity as it ventures beyond the typical psychedelic, stoner and doom characteristics of fuzz and bass. Essentially, Madness is a dynamically thrilling relationship between group lucid dreaming and listener’s sleep paralysis. The complex dreams in which SPACE COKE manifesto are entirely under their control. As they decide on the end result, the listener is completely engrossed and locked in its cryptic atmosphere.
Musically, what stands out the most is the organ. Moses Andrews IIIThe mastery of the instrument and its lively use give the album a unique dimension, in which the organ is just as important as the guitar. This is best demonstrated on Frozen world and the annoying Lightmare. On the latter, the organ announces the existence of sinister demons of space who will curse your dreams, carrying one by one the occupants of the world where ultimately no one will be there to hear you cry out.
Madness feels like the darker successor to the band’s latest album The call of the void (The call of the void). Using elements similar to those of its predecessor, one has the impression Madness dubbed the weird and the weird while imbuing it with a great sensitivity of doom. There’s also something decidedly old-school about the album, reminiscent of the LSD-soaked magic mushroom tangle of the psychedelic golden age of the 1960s / early 70s, delivering a well-balanced mix. of abstract darkness and simple, heavy riffs imbued with southern blues.
For everyone Madnessthe strangeness of is intensely pleasant listening; the unpredictability and variety of the album are his greatest strengths. Parts of it are downright terrifying as the band grows in tension before releasing it by launching into the song itself. It is mainly the monologue at the beginning of Lightmare and the ritual songs at the start of the twelve-minute epic Alice lilitu. SPACE COKE have created an album rich in textures, with each layer bringing something new and interesting into the fold. They demonstrate an avid curiosity to explore outside the realms of consciousness although they are deeply rooted in the inexplicable particularity of the earth.
SPACE COKE to have read between the galactic lines on Madness, fully immersing you in their own metamorphosed reality, while making you feel comfortable enough to embark on this crazy journey with them. While much remains uncertain and inexplicable, one thing is clear for SPACE COKE: Madness marks the start of a major upward spiral in their tie-dye rocket of madness.
Lunacy is slated for release on January 14 via Forbidden Place Records.
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