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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Sludge: AcidLand - "Through Darkness"

If you're gonna go on a trip, you're gonna need some supplies. Follow that dumb blonde down a wormhole and find yourself in a heap o' trouble, did ya? You probably didn't even think ahead enough to stuff a sandwich in your pocket before your sniffer tugged you out the door and away from real life. So here we are with no shoes, a week's stubble, and a body that's become a canvas of subcutaneous bruising.

Rub some dirt on it. And spin these four tracks from Nysa, Poland's AcidLand, an instrumental psych-sludge outfit promising nothing more than to tune low and play slow. The spook is cranked to eleven on Through Darkness, twenty-three minutes of repetitive, patient doomscape numbing your fingers and twisting your nerves. But AcidLand poke your brain stem with layers and atmospheres, fuzzing and buzzing with vacant occupancies balancing thick patience. Take my hand.

Introducing a vast, hollow terrain is The Outsider, a tin-plucked fuzz buster ripping through wet jeans. The rhythmic reverberations pair with sharp thrills for an eerie chop and chip effect. The dynamic pauses need no vocal accompaniment, just smooth stoner passages slaving on a grind and spacing on a warble. The ends are unknown, and marrying the ethereal with the earthly rarely works this well.

Path Into The Light is a slow-rolling smoker a la Salem's Pot. Wavy, wide-open, sparse, lonely. Tinsel litters the cosmos at half-speed and guitars burn like flaming molasses. This brown acid soundtrack cruises inward though, splashed with double-kicks, closed eyes, and gaping mouths. Spit down the well and forget how weird this feels. The Sabbathain influence of Lost In AcidLand will put you right at home. Buzzing with a seer's patience and swelling on a sludgy walk to nowhere, saws give chase and mud sprays everywhere. The stumble to trot progression hardly breaks the mold, but I hardly fucking care. This is straight sticky sweetness from a lost era.

And we're left with a flattened hope on the album's closing title track, set ablaze with riffs and rife with sludge-drawn beefiness. Peppered with whispers of evil, this smooth psychedelia dooms endlessly. Wet stones seep purple smoke and we're wrapped in a calm acceptance. Listeners are warm with buzz and sick with stew. Delivered with confidence and incredible patience, the album ends on a stagger, spitting blood and rising to face a coup de grĂ¢ce.

I may hit repeat a few times. The long drags AcidLand peddle on Through Darkness may induce quite a trip, but break it down and there's more sharpened structure than sprawling diatribe. In patience lies promise, and AcidLand never rush the buzz. Sustained aches and an overdose of fuzz may best characterize this release, but the subconscious beating lands in slow-motion strikes. If a blottered mindfuck is your bag, have at it. But AcidLand trip pretty well on their own.

For fans of: Salem's Pot, Black Sabbath, Uncle Acid
Pair with2013 Bourbon County Stout, Goose Island Beer Co.

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