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Acid King – Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere


Acid King - Middle of Nowhere, Center of EverywhereWow, ten years between albums is quite a feat; I mean we are talking Kate Bush levels of time here. But it’s not as if Acid King have been sitting around doing nothing — in fact the band have been constantly touring over that time, playing festivals and building an even larger loyal following. So were all these years worth the wait?

The album opens with “Intro”, a glorious three and a half minute instrumental wig-out full of psychedelic guitars and powerful bass throbs that wouldn’t be out of place on Are You Experienced, but the major thing is that Acid King’s signature big riffs are there in all their glory. “Silent Pictures” begins with long guitar wails that sound like demons howling from the depths. When Joey Osbourne‘s precise drumming (some of his style reminds me a bit of Rush’s Neil Peart) hits in, the track takes of in a haze of smoke. Lori S’s vocals wail from the depths as Sabbathian chords crawl around haunted buildings, the downward-spiralling notes at the end bring the track to a great conclusion.

“Coming Down From Outer Space” has the monumental riff competing with a phased psychedelic sound. This is far-out music for LSD-soaked bikers crazed in the desert with a bombardment of swirling colours floating around and ready to hitch a lift on a UFO. Lori’s fine guitar playing at time subtly underpins the song’s theme by giving it the sound of cosmic otherness. “Laser Headlights” stutters into life with some fine bass riffage from Mark Lamb. Again, Lori’s vocals sound like a cry from the depths of space, a scream of escape from a Lovecraftian monster maybe? This song does have a riff to move mountains by, or at least call the old ones from their depths.

“Red River” starts slow and ominously as the stoner chords fall over themselves to drag the song into being. It hangs almost delicately on a psychedelic dirge that it drags you in bit by bit, soul by soul, into the river of doom. Its lead guitar is mournful and melodious at the same time. “Infinite Skies” is like a bike ride into a burning hell with the volume turned up to eleven. It is the sky on fire during a starlit night; the music punishes, but also drags you into acid oblivion as notes come raining down.

“Center Of Everywhere” has the drums rolling around the kit whilst Lori plays a three-note hook on the guitar before her classic head-smashing riffs hit in. Some far-out lead takes the track to another dimension, here we truly get high amongst the clouds and hover up there, looking down upon humanity. The drums and the bass keep busy to stop the track falling into a torpor, but help make it an uplifting experience Jimi Hendrix would have be proud of. This is Acid King travelling to the beyond. “Outro” fades in to bring the album to a close. It’s perfectly pitched to leave you on a high as guitars cascade around and the rhythm clatters around before the final notes spiral off into outer space.

So was it worth all the wait? The answer is a big “Hell yes!” Acid King are back to crush their enemies and see them driven before them.

-Gary Parsons-

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