Mushroom Mantras by VibravoidRelease date: November 17, 2017
Label: Stoned Karma Records
“Mushroom!” And so begins an album of full on tripped out weirdness that you will want to remain high just to stay on the level that Vibravoid have set themselves. From a completely over the top beginning to a cosmic finish, Mushroom Mantras is an album to put on when you feel like displacing your mind for an hour or so. There is no escape, and although the mood does change as the album progresses, this is nothing less than full on psychedelia.
Placing themselves within that cosmic weirdness of the New Age traveller movement, a time of impromptu raves and experimental investigation into dubbed out mantras, they mix this strangeness (and no doubt quark and charm too), with a blustery space rock derived, no doubt, from that most peculiar of institutions, Hawkwind. It’s music which makes you feel slightly grubby, the kind that you just know is made for getting high to. It’s prime psychedelia that can only be the result of one too many nights dosed up on strawberries, flying keys or whatever version of LSD is doing the rounds. It’s that 5am tripped out weirdness. No, scratch that, it’s the full trip, from hit to comedown.
That’s where the album starts, with an almighty hit as the aforementioned “Mushroom!” gives way to the mantra “all you need to blow your mind, you will just find”. There’s no let up and it feels as if you have been dropped into the middle of a huge lysergic puddle which you can only wallow in, attempting to find steady ground before being pulled straight back down (or is that up?) again. This feeling lasts for at least the first half of the album as the psych stomper of ‘The Legend of Doctor Robert’ transcends into a wall of noise bluster, temporarily displacing your mind as your synapses shut down during ‘Echoes Of Time’, only to leave you on the mountain top of time chanting along to ‘Sarveshaam Svastir Bhavatu’. It’s almost as if Kula Shaker have completely lost it and ran rampant with Timothy Leary’s medicine.
It almost gets too much before a swift change of tack ushers in a much more measured second half with ‘Purple Pepper’. Leaving you adrift in space, Vibravoid stretch themselves out into an ambient network of dub infused psych. There may now be room to breathe, and during the beautiful ‘The Orange Coat’, time to contemplate, this is only the starter before the main course of the three parter, ‘Krautfactor’, completely strips your mind of any semblance of normality. It is peak psych, but what is more remarkable is that they sound both like a completely different band from the one that starts the album, and one that always knew exactly where they were taking you. You would surely need to be a hardy psychonaut to keep up with these guys.
Probably a little too heavy going for the new psych scene, Vibravoid are a timely reminder that deep in the underground remain bands unafraid to produce something really psychedelic. The genes of the music obviously lie amongst the fore-bearers of Hawkwind and later Ozric Tentacles, but within that sound Vibravoid are their own trip which has now been happening for 20 years as they progress along their own heady path. It’s a trip you will most definitely want to partake in if you have ever had a strong inclination for the really “out there”, and any self respecting psychonaut will find plenty of room for this in their collection.