A psychedelic blues duo here on Cardinal Fuzz records, Pretty Lightning release their second LP, the wonderfully named, A Magic Lane of Light and Rain. It’s got all the clout of deep, slouching blues but with psychedelic instrumentation which gives the whole album a krautrock feeling of heavy reverb and drifting vocals.
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- A Magic Lane Of Light and Rain by Pretty Lightning
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Pretty Lightning seem to think they’re some sort of psychedelic meteorology duo with total control of the weather, but actually what they are is a couple of krautrock spooks. ‘A Magic Lane of Light and Rain’ is a rather immaculately constructed rock record that twists around on itself like curtains closing in perfect symmetry. Getting caught up in it is slightly dangerous.
“Marble Moon” is an example of Pretty Lightning tethering estranged motifs together and keeping them lit like lanterns: organ keys spew out the same riff over and over, powerfully and then nimbly, as guitar phases in from afar. The rather superbly titled “Hypnooze” postulates a guitar lick and then lets spaced-out gravity keep it floating -- it sounds like someone rolling their head back and forth in languishing agony, the acoustic instrumentation around it fleeting and intangible to the subdued listener. Pretty Lightning play the physical and ephemeral off against one another, with inanimate electric guitar and stupefying drums (as on “Moonshine Blooze”) keeping processed vocals and instrumental flourishes at bay.
At the time of writing, it feels like psych rock should be just this: a repetition that is numbing while delivering the potential for escape, for little extra sounds we can hear but can’t lock into. Pretty Lightning have made a disorientating little record here -- the guitar-flicked ambience of “A Gift From Bone to A Bell” suggests a band of constancy and trickery.
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