I had the very good fortune of seeing San Diego’s lysergic masters of the extended super-jam reality, Earthless, on their recent tour this year, slaying the audience at the tiny Retro Bar in Manchester. I’d heard they were good, I just didn’t realise they were that good. In fact they put in one of the best live performances I’d ever seen. That’s after 23 years of going to gigs. This double LP/CD, recorded at last years Roadburn festival, celebrates the psychedelic powerhouse that is Earthless in all their mind-splitting live glory.
Disc one (47 minutes long) kicks off with ‘Blue’. After benign words of thanks from guitarist Isaiah Mitchell, there follows a rising wail of feedback and a shimmering splash of cymbals, and Earthless start to slowly build the ground shaking foundations of the track. Five minutes in, and the rocket ship has entered orbit. This is what Earthless do – they effortlessly plunge into the wildest psychedelic jams heard since Cream and Hendrix; Mitchell’s guitar shooting off rapid bending notes like white-hot globs of molten noise, Mike Eginton’s absurdly fluid Rickenbacker bass pulsing and throbbing underneath the blistering fret assault, and centre stage, the profoundly awe-inspiring drumming of rhythmic Godzilla, Mario Rubalcaba. Jamming is like breathing to these dudes.
After multiple minutes of simply beautiful psychedelic rock, Earthless hurtle into the heavy chords of track two, ‘From The Ages’. What can I say…more stunning jams containing so many ideas and variations it makes your enlarged and quivering brain swim with sensation. Disc two contains ‘From The Ages/Godspeed’ and ‘Sonic Prayer’ – 35 minutes of…well, if I write more of the same, it sounds like an insult. This is quite simply ear candy for lovers of real psychedelic rock. Musical morphine. I can’t even write any more about the sound of Earthless. It would sound even more pretentious and overblown than it already does. I think the best advice is, if you love this kind of stuff, and I know most of you reading this do, otherwise you wouldn’t be sat here looking at these words in the first place, then buy this or burn it. It will not leave your stereo.
Scribed by: Adam Stone