11 May 2017

King Black Acid - Twin Flames

Reviewed by Nathan Ford

Daniel Riddle's King Black Acid are one of Portland's longest running psychedelic collectives. My knowledge of their output is limited and doesn't reach beyond their exploratory mid nineties output, so this new three track EP is a major surprise to me. Granted, twenty plus years have passed, but gone is the free-form space-rock of the likes of "The Wombstar Session" or the Frippian guitar textures of "Royal Subjects", replaced with carefully structured and intricate songcraft. This evolution will presumably come as less of a surprise to those who've been keeping tabs on a more regular basis than myself, but I trust they'll be just as impressed as I am by the contents of "Twin Lights".

This is a richly textured, lush production with meticulously crafted songs which suggest the direction My Morning Jacket might have taken had they embraced Pink Floyd in place of Prince. I doubt this is what Gram Parsons had in mind when he coined the term cosmic American music, but the cap certainly fits here.

Unusually in the current musical climate, nothing is in a rush here and these three lengthy tracks would be in danger of meandering in lesser hands, but here their unhurried pace is a virtue, creating a hypnotic tapestry that I found irresistable. The production deserves a mention too - it's almost as much of a star here as Riddle's songs. Check out the intro to "Headful of You" for a masterclass in slow-motion, free-falling lusciousness. And the chorus positively soars - great song.

The title track continues in this vein, adding a bit of a "Cold Roses" era Ryan Adams and the Cardinals vibe to it. This creates an intriguing dichotomy between the Earthbound and the ethereal which should collapse in on itself in the messiest of fashions, but maintains its balance perfectly.

Lovely stuff.

You can hear the title track below. CD and digital available here.

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