I was here at the office (Ground Zero) nice n’ early this morning to get some progress made on my presentations so I’m doing my best to zone out on the ‘Dorsal Scapular Nerve Syndrome‘ currently raging warfare on my back and zone into these stupid Powerpoints; which is about as difficult as it sounds, believe me. This morning’s zone out/zone in soundtrack then springs back to last week when I opened the vault on the Spacemen 3 album catalog with their debut album (click HERE), this time their 4th and final album ‘Recurring‘.
Released in February of 1991 some time after the band had broken up. By the time the album was recorded, relations between the band had soured to the extent that the record is in two parts – the first side by Peter Kember (Sonic Boom), and the second by Jason Pierce (J. Spaceman). In fact, the only track on which both Pierce and Kember appear is ‘When Tomorrow Hits‘, a cover of a Mudhoney song, originally intended for a double A-side split single, with Mudhoney covering ‘Revolution‘ from ‘Playing With Fire‘. Arguably, the album is really a Spectrum/Spiritualized split with the only big hit off the album being ‘Hypnotized’, a Pierce composition that was a minor hit in the UK back in 1989.
Despite all the animosity though, it is a drug induced “Neo-Psychadelic” space rock masterpiece. This is something that just as easily could have come out of the 1960’s. It involves you, it embraces you, it envelops you, it strings you out and brings you back again. Every track off the album, especially ‘Just to See You Smile and Feelin’ Just Fine‘, has the perfect blend of drone and psychedelia with a pop flare that sometimes gets aggressively raw when chaotic fuzz guitars awaken you from your somnolence. Also, there is something melancholic and joyful about the music on the album, like a triumphant demise or a disillusionment, which is heightened by the gospel influences that can be heard. Boom’s side is rockin’ and Spaceman’s side is more dreamy and ambient; providing the perfect yin to the other’s yang. The highlight for me is the last track on the album, the original crafting of ‘Drive/Feel So Sad‘ which would later develop into the anthem that Spiritualized would later embrace as their magnus opus.
AND it has a really pretty album cover to boot. You just can’t go wrong.