Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Acid King - 'Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere' (Music Review)
Back in the 1990's nobody really cared about stoner rock. Everyone was interested in Pearl Jam and Nirvana more than Black Sabbath-inspired, throwback riffs. The closest you got was the occasional dude in a jean jacket who liked Kyuss. Unbeknownst to many, in 1994 Lori S. and Joey Osbourne formed Acid King, and the San Francisco trio would go on to inspire a horde of modern bands who use words like "doom" and "stoner" just because it's currently en vogue. I first heard Busse Woods in 2001, roughly two years after its release. It totally blew my mind. It was such a raw and dark album that evoked all the best qualities of my dad's record collection from the 1970's.
Now after almost a decade, Acid King have dropped a new full length on the masses. Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere is a juggernaut. A juggernaut with the best album cover of 2015 so far. Seriously, it's a WIZARD RIDING A TIGER IN OUTER SPACE!
Lori S. has described this release as "moody" and "adding more depth to their sound". This is absolutely accurate as it's a far more cohesive and sonically dense album than III or even Busse Woods. With eight total tracks, jacketed between a short "intro" and "outro" the core of the experience is six spaced-out jams that clock in at roughly 50 minutes. Middle of Nowhere has a much stronger flow than any prior offering from the band. Each song transitions well from one to the next, and gives the album a great feel start to finish. This is one you can put on at the beginning of a long drive and you'll never hit skip. "Red River" was my favorite song, being the shortest full offering, but none of the other tracks disappoint.
A few noticeable departures from past albums. Lori's vocals are more sparse. She really does a good job of giving the music an epic amount of space, and you'll ride through waves of riffs for up to a few minutes before she punctuates them with her recognizable style. The songs approach "jams" at times but never spiral completely out of control or get boring. One of Acid King's greatest strengths is knowing how to build tension and exercise a riff without overdoing it.
Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere is NOT a traditionally "accessible" album. However, for aficionados of the genre and the longtime fans this one was well worth the extended wait.