Well, here I am strapped into my capsule in preparation for another blast off to the planet of the Acid Mothers Temple and this album doesn’t disappoint. A large crash and we are straight into “Space Speed Suicide.” Immediately Kawabata Makoto’s Hendrix style guitar solos assault our ears over a massive Pink Fairies-like riff underneath and some wildly clattering drums. This is the violent explosion of Saturn five rockets at the beginning of the journey into space with a big head-banging tune to boot. This is the moment you are down the front at one of their shows doing ape-shit hippy dancing while lights and smoke flash around you. It’s take off time!“Skilful Grinning Skull” starts off with some cacophony of guitars before flute takes over and the chords become laid back and drifting almost Pink Floyd-like. Vocals chatter over the top and I can’t stop thinking that the piece is giving me the same vibe as early King Crimson in some way. The track stumbles and falters at times and moves through its different changes bringing to mind early Hawkwind where Nik Turner’s flute would sometimes take control of the melody. There’s some rather sublime bass from Tsuyama Atsushi and Higashi Hiroshi keeps the synth suitably heading for the nether regions of the stars. The track picks up speed near the end as it leaves Earth’s orbit and Kawabata’s lead guitar hits in.
“Born Free Stone Free” has a punchy sixties style riff similar to something the Edgar Broughton Band would have knocked out. Its vocals drenched in acid-sounding reverb, this is the sound of the UFO Club in one song. The guitar solo is totally out there and is a true wig-out performance. This could easily be background music for some groovy club scene from a film made in 1969. Shimura Koji’s drums keep pace wonderfully under the massive chords kicked out by Tabata Mitsuru, one of AMT’s best-ever tracks. “Babe I’m Gonna Reave You” has big blues chords under some chaotic lead guitar. The track begins to sound as if someone is doing a comedy version of a Led Zeppelin-style standard blues song. Here the guitar solo dominates so much in the mix it pushes the other instruments into the background. This is certainly Acid Mothers with the tongues firmly in their cheeks, but it still manages to capture that early ’70s sound as well as destroy it.Now comes the big title track, its “Set The Controls…”-style bass line already conjuring visions of ancient alien landscapes. Synth chords hang under clanging cymbals and the big guitar riff power-houses things through. Organ notes add an otherworldly atmosphere as the Acid Mothers take on Meddle-era Floyd. This is the soundtrack of lysergic sunsets in the ruins, your hands raised to sky in worship of the elder Gods. Chanting echoed voices add to the overall feeling of travelling back in time and space and almost call the dance through edifices past. Halfway through organ chords bring the whole track to a standstill and begin to play a slow series of notes as the synth twitters above them and then a subtle guitar solo picks its way in. When the big riff hits back in you are taken to another dimension, here the chords take on an almost Zeppelin-esque “Kashmir” magnificence that carries the track through to its big conclusion, awesome.
With this album AMT dip their toe into wider sound structures and come out the other end making a superb pure acid-soaked album. The only weak link is “Babe…” but seeing as its one of the shortest tracks on the album don’t let that put you off grabbing this release. The album is full of incredible music; I would suggest lava lamp on and some of Dr Hoffman’s finest and let the music carry you away to some ancient temple on Mars, by the time you return everything would have changed…