The latest offering by Chicago’s super-group of cosmic mutant rockers will surely reduce your mind to a crispy, smoldering cinder.
The record opens with the jaw-dropping supernova of “Ghost of Dread Reaction,” which perfectly sets the chaotically lysergic tone for the rest of the album. The densely lush sound that Plastic Crimewave (AKA Steve Krakow) and company have summoned together here with the help of cult musicians like Bil Vermette, Whitney “Matchess” Johnson and Bruce Lamont, is somewhere between the sax-heavy moments of The Stooges’ Fun House and the scuzzy interstellar riffs of The Pink Fairies’ Finland Freakout 1971. At other points of the record, like on the track, “Future To The Ancients,” elements of kosmische musik and Acid Mothers Temple-like psychedelic insanity are blended together into a heavy, nightmarish nebula of raw and otherworldly rock.
The tracks here are excitingly unpredictable, since most of them seem to shift their mood, tempo and texture at any given moment. For instance, the sound of the dreamy closing song, “No Place,” constantly rises and falls from an eerie calmness to a frenzied hurricane of noise with dazed saxophones, celestial viola and demonic vocals leading the charge. This constant change in flavor not only helps to keeps the 11-minute song from growing stale, it makes it become a total stand out moment and a fitting end to the record.
I am of the opinion that everything Krakow touches turns to sonic (or visual) gold, but Thunderbolt of Flaming Wisdom is an especially superb addition to his deep and diverse catalogue.
You can find this album on vinyl/digital through Cardinal Fuzz’s Bandcamp page now.