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- The Thought Adjusters by Father Yod and The Source Family
9/10 Mike Staff review, 17 May 2012
On this record here Drag City have unearthed a load of recordings from '70s hippie cult leader and vegetarian organic restaurateur to the stars Father Yod, whose commune of loved-up musicians would get down to some righteous bong jams under his hairy leadership. On this 2LP there's some deep, psychedelic grooving going on while YaHoWha, as he sometimes preferred to be known, rants his stream-of-consciousness pseudo-spiritual spiel over the top like a demented Jim Morrison.
It's pretty lively when it gets going, with surging drums and bass powering flurries of flute and sax and guitar skronk, and elsewhere they take it a bit easier and it's got a bit of a Sunburned Hand of the Man-type free and easy communal jamming style that's totally summery and enjoyable. Despite Yod's tragic death in a hang-gliding accident in 1975 these jams sound pretty modern in their own way, or at least it seems like certain modern psych jammers from Sun Araw to Raccoo-oo-oon have been taking some cues from what was happening here. There's parallels with various contemporaries; The Grateful Dead, The Doors, even Funkadelic, but the tones are earthier and the delivery clumsier for proper '60s-style hippie good time vibes.
There are times when things go totally toytown weird, of course, and I think it's got to be accepted that a man who tried to present himself as some sort of deity is going to fall into that artist-with-mental-health-problems bracket and sometimes he's just hollering over unhinged muddy tinkles while a gospel choir wail in the background. 'Osiris/Isis' in particular is compellingly fucked up deep mystical jamming. Can I stop saying “jams” now? If you like the idea of beardy-weardy '70s cult hippie melodic summer psych jams, this'll fry your onions.
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