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The Vacant Lots – Departure (2014) review

July 11, 2014

The Vacant Lots – Departure (2014) review

The Vacant Lots “Departure” (Sonic Cathedral, 2014)
A years ago that the hazy psychedelic meanderings
of The Vacant Lots first crossed my radar … they were then supporting
Spectrum [Pete Kember, late of Spacemen 3], laying out a sensational show
filled with sonically drenched guitar songs that were spurred on by tribal
drumming, and a visual backdrop that was out of this world.  Because of demand for their their high
energy, and live adventurous presentation, it was nearly impossible to get the
duo of Jared Artaud and Brian MacFadyen, who draw inspiration from Bo Diddley,
The Stooges, and Warhol’s Velvet Underground, into the studio.
Since that time I’ve had the pleasure of finding these two
unrelenting artists sacked out on my couch and wandering the halls of my home,
discussing the minimalist aesthetics of hypnotic rock n’ roll, Native American
spheres of influences, and the value of analog equipment that is nearly
impossible to even find today.  And in
all that time, I’ve watched and heard this band from Vermont ebb and flow into
even widening fields of electronics and spacial illuminations, creating
atmospheres laced with poetry driven lyrics that challenge anything done in the
past … while setting in place stepping stones, that in the future, others
will certainly have to contend with.
Their first official outing, Departure, released by the UK
label Sonic Cathedral, is a swirling sonic storm of shimmering
delight, layered with effortless precision, and filled with deceptively bright
arrangements that move on an unseen current at dizzying heights.  I remember Jared sitting quietly across from
me saying, “While our music sounds mesmerizing and hypnotizing, it’s really
about trying to wake people up,” which you will fully understand once you hear
him stroll through the lyrics of “Make The Connection,” with a street-wise
swagger, flipping off lines like, “Eyes wide awake, watching life disappear
…”  And the boys are not alone with
their musical and artistic visions, where the likes of Pete Kember and Dean
Wareham share in not only bringing a reality to their dreamscapes, but adding their
own special reflections, like holding a mirror in front of a mirror, and
watching the effects multiply.

Departure has earned The Vacant Lots a thumbprint on the map
of psychedelic music … a map I’ve been following for a very long time.

Review made by Jenell Kesler/2014
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2014
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