Ascent To Godhead by Earthling SocietyRelease date: August 4, 2017
Label: Riot Season
Pretty much the number one band for truly psychedelic music these days, Earthling Society are also pretty prolific. Granted, previous release Zen Bastard was a re-recording of older songs, so to counteract that we now have an album of new songs, mere months later. You could maybe forgive them for any drop in quality but on the basis of Ascent To Godhead, they seem to be on a bit of a roll.
Not that Earthling Society have ever released anything subpar. They’re not that kind of band, and main man Fred Laird keeps a steady ship through not just Earthling music but also the many offshoots. It’s led to a body of work which is somewhat of a maze, this time there is no exit though, it’s a place to get lost in. Added to this body is now Ascent To Godhead which may in fact be there most out-there album yet and their crowning glory.
Surprisingly it starts off with another old song, ‘Levitate Me’. A song originally written in 2009, this full on glam stomper that takes everything great about MC5 and The Stooges and wraps it up in a celebratory vision of glorious space-rock, is the perfect follow on from the Zen Bastard album. It’s also the closest you’ll get to normality so cling on to it while you can as things get very weird from now on.
There’s always been a strong streak of free-form jazz and Sun Ra running through Earthling Society music and ‘Godhead pt1’ continues that tradition. A rambling tribal dub infused track, it meanders through your brain causing all manner of doors to open. Drifting from jazz to dub, with raging guitars one minute and calm ambience the next, it’s almost difficult to call it music in any traditional sense. It’s true psychedelia, the kind that gives you a high without having to take drugs.
Where ‘Godhead pt1’ lays claim to that lost festival slot at 4am, ‘Electric Bou Saada’ takes leave of the planet altogether as it’s swirling beginning becomes the moment when you finally cross over into some higher plain. It’s an intense freak out after the relative steadiness of ‘Godhead pt1’ with both parts becoming one in the journey to where-ever it is that Earthling Society are taking you. It’s a fantastical out of body and mind experience, best experienced loud through headphones.
‘Godhead pt2’ brings us slowly back down to earth although you feel irreparably changed by what you have been through. It’s an almost spiritual movement, although the only Godhead here is the one you meet within your mind, not some mystical alien being up in space. That search for an higher plain of psychedelia is reached and you can never be quite the same again. If music is experience then this is the kind that can alter your way of thinking. It should come with a warning that only true psych heads need apply but that would spoil the fun for those wishing to dabble.
If you have ever had or shown any interest on psych then you need to experience Earthling Society. There is nobody quite like these for making music to truly take you out there. A phenomenal release from the best psychedelic band around.