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- The Middle Path by Residual Echoes
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Here’s a record so ambitious I don’t even know where to start. Residual Echoes have crafted two side-long tracks on this LP which straddle the line between acid-fried psychedelic improvisations and composed passages of ‘70s inspired rock music. They make it clear from the start that it’s not for people who dislike distorted electric guitars, with the first few minutes seeing some outrageous fret-acrobatics which (says the press release) “evokes first-four-albums Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and the heaviest parts of Focus’s Hocus Pocus”. Crikey.
After that they spend the next 40 minutes or so settling into some head-nodding krautrock grooves, puttering overblown psychedelic freak-outs, churning indie rock and puttering atmospheric slow-burning passages ornamented with flute and unorthodox percussion which swirl seamlessly along, melting into one another with a loose improvised vibe, presumably with individual cues between the musicians which send them into the different sections. It’s super impressive how they manage to maintain the freeform feel when moving between improvised and composed passages, and the acid-rock workouts are so loose and wild and yet indulgently enjoyable. It’s that rare thing; a unique album. Surprising and brilliant and intoxicatingly weird. Outsider rock for the ‘Dazed and Confused’ generation.
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