Dusted Reviews

V/A - Hall of Mirrors

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: V/A

Album: Hall of Mirrors

Label: Emperor Jones

Review date: Jul. 6, 2005

Who needs another compilation of cosmic music? Texas drivers, that’s for sure. Get out of town and you’ve got nothing but long, flat, straight drives with nothing to look at. Nowadays they aren’t even allowed to drink in the car, so how to dull the gnawing boredom? Good driving tunes, ones that last a long time and supply their own visuals. So it makes sense that a Texas label has put out this double CD of space-rock and stoner psych, even though it was compiled Mason Jones, a Bay Area homebody and an associate member of SubArachnoid Space (and a frequent Dusted contributor!).

The Longhorn state is even represented amongst the contributing bands. Primordial Undermind, from Austin, turns in one of the best tracks. Sprinting drums power echo-laden, barnstorming guitar leads and zoomorphic electronics on “Non Servium (Undermind),” a tune that’ll likely enrich both the state troopers and the radar detector manufacturers. But ST37, from the same town, turns in the sort of diverting but poorly recorded rehearsal room jam that has “save it for a compilation album” branded on its sweaty forehead. And Ft. Worth’s Yeti offers one of the least appealing tracks; “Raja Gaj” is a murky piece of Frankenstein prog, its baroque keyboard flourishes sewed onto sluggish stoner riffs with no regard for whether the seams are showing.

But Jones, who used to run the Charnel label, has more connections with Japanoise mongerers than Texan revolutionaries. Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. turn in an overdriven freak-out called “Fire Walk With Us” that features since-departed vocalist Cotton Casino on space-yowl. Overhang Party’s “Le Fantôme de la Liberté” takes a similarly satisfying shot at the sky. But two other bands from the far side of the Pacific Rim, Up-Tight and DMBQ, are disappointingly earthbound; the latter track sounds like an unwitting Mudhoney parody. Jones’ own band starts out with a High Rise-worthy riff, but can’t seem to keep their feet away from the echo pedals.

Other bands hail from Boston, Ohio, Milwaukee, Finland, and points unknown. Their contributions zigzag back and forth across the great continental divide of quality control; I imagine most people not involved with the project could boil it down to a single CD with little trouble. But there’s enough good stuff to make that a very long CD, and the wheat doesn’t just come from ringers like Bardo Pond and Vocokesh; Gravitar’s splendidly titled rampage “Ben Hur,” Rubble’s distorto-stun biker riff “Grey Baby,” and Transpacific’s ghost-western theme “Fall River Mills” more than carry their weight.

By Bill Meyer

Read More

View all articles by Bill Meyer

Find out more about Emperor Jones

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.