Album number two from psych rock adventurers Golden Void. Heavy riffs are, of course, at the beating core of this band’s music, but they don’t leave it there. Berkana throws plenty of additional atmospherics into the mix too, filling out tracks with keyboards and the like. Out on Thrill Jockey as a CD or as an LP.
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The front cover kinda looks like if the Garfield Without Garfield comics were repurposed for a second series called Astral Weeks Without Van Morrison; I am of course deliberating on talking to you about a psych rock album, with all the usual offending solos and heavy bliss. Lately I find myself saying this endlessly, but Golden Void are as classic rawk as they come, taking Isaiah Mitchell’s inclinations from Earthless slightly askew for a record of traditional rock sighs, groaning solos and pantomimic 4/4. Rock music: has it ever been better distilled than in the desperate tone of “Burbank’s Dream”, which ends with the cryingest riffology ever. Fuck: I kinda like it.
There’s something strangely country about this record, the Southern rock drawl echoing beautiful through songs like “Silent Season”, which unabashedly uses tinkering organ keys overtop plaintive guitar and a vocal to rival Lynyrd Skynyrd on a sad song hype. “Dervishing” is like a Pearl Jam ballad with more cosmic stories to tell, slowly winding into a rather epic outro of clashing chords and widescreen synth. It’s no surprise that on the flip, the Void crew give up on any pretenses and craft three languishing rock ‘n’ roll epics, narrating pretty formlessly on “The Beacon”, a song that proves these dudes can meander with the best of them. It’s okay as long as prog rock exists.
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- Berkana by Golden Void
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