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Bad Liquor Pond - Radiant Transmission (2008) review


Bad Liquor Pond "Radiant Transmission" (MT6 Records, 2008) 

Just off I-40, where the New Mexico horizon meshes with the sky, there’s a roadside cafe, and at times, or so I’ve been told, creates a vortex of sorts, where minor manifestations have been said to occur.  And while I don’t necessarily subscribe to such notions, I did take notice of the dusty character who walked into the diner, asked the waitress something, and she pointed directly at me.  He shuffled down between the counter and the booths, leaned on the corner of my table rubbing the edges of his mouth with his thumb and forefinger, and said, “You need this, it’ll save your wasted soul,” pulling a rather tattered copy of Radiant Transmission out of his pocket, and slapped it on the table, along with a small quantity of mushrooms that were just there for the ride ... and then disappeared into the bathroom.  Yeah, you might say my mortal curiosity was raised, and after a moment or two, I slid aside my bowl of chili, took my fork and pushed at the CD gently.  As I sat back, the waitress walked over and refilled my ice-water, saying, “You ought not to be so bold with those things, there are folks who don’t take kindly to substances,” brushing the shrooms into a small brown paper bag.  “They’re not mine," I smiled back at her, “that guy who just walked into the bathroom left ‘em.”  “What guy,” she asked? “No one here but us.”  And she was right, when I looked, there was no one there.

Well ... that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  What I will add, is that when I slipped into my car, and dropped the disc into the player, I instantly drifted back.  Bad Liquor Pond had laced together a hazy comfortable warm mixture of psychedelic shoegazer and indie pop that swirled around my head like the aurora borealis, creating a twilight atmosphere of visionary splendor.  And while they don’t stray too far from the pioneers of the neo-psychedelic movement, Spacemen 3 and Brian Jonestown Massacre, it certainly was a breath of fresh air to hear a new take on the sounds that were laid down so many years ago.  Complete with layers of dreamy vocals and off the wall lyrics that are held in check with jangling blues influenced guitars, banjo, harmonic, jaw harp and etherial organ ... their presentation is fresh and flawless.

So ... while I can’t hand you these thirteen songs in a brown paper bag, what I can do, is ask you to believe me, this album will save your wasted soul.

Review made by Jenell Kesler/2014
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