Baby Woodrose ‘Third Eye Surgery’ LP/CD/DD 2012

Baby Woodrose 'Third Eye Surgery' LP/CD/DD 2012Baby Woodrose aka Lorenzo Woodrose has consistently produced the most enthused heart-felt replication of a paisley patterned 60s fuzz drenched avalanche of psychedelic acid trips since the Vietnam war defined an age of social resistance. Surely he must be regarded as being the undisputed master magician for capturing the spiritually enhanced symmetry of Count Five, The Remains, Music Machine, 13th Floor Elevator, The Seeds style garage music. It is therefore with tense anticipation that I find myself sitting in front of my hi-fi, fingers a quivering, holding the delicate silver CD platter of solid sound from which I am about to gratefully receive a mass cerebral penetration  of my third eye.

Now before we begin, my children of the psychedelic dawn, perhaps I should lay the ground firm by providing a descriptive under pinning to the proceedings. The press release accompanying the album boldly states this is the newest endeavour to create a different vibe, with its emphasis now being on colonising the space rock genre. My initial impression on what I am about to hear tells me I should be looking to Hawkwind or Amon Duul II, as entrenched members of the space rock cosmos, to guide me through this astral vortex.  But I am finding it difficult to imagine how Baby Woodrose can possibly achieve the free form spiral tidal wave from jamming out star dusted organic dark matter as these past masters were able to do. It is with this apprehension and excitement, part of a bi-polar mind expanding stretch between hyperspace and where I am sitting, that I finally succumb to my own curiosity and place the album into the machine.

‘Down To The Bottom’ kicks the album off with astral singing storming into the perfect beat-esque garage escapade and by so doing, lights up all the absolute delight meters. This is far out and so incredibly catchy, there is a hook on every bar, but this ain’t the 70s dudes, this is pure 68 style, frilly shirts, velvet jackets, seedy clubs. It wins on every level.

‘Waiting For The War’ takes a more industrialised dance beat with electric indie vibe and catapults us forward in time by presenting us with a pop song for the new millennium. It is certainly not bad, but has such a different vibe, consequently I am not convinced this is brilliant. It screams modern and with that the paisley shirts are vaporised leaving us with nothing other than naked covered in soot dandy.

In true psychotic juxtaposition ‘Dandelion’ takes us back to Byrds-esque beauty. The west coast purges 2, and once again I find myself submerged in a deluge of bubble gum pop psych.

Surfing on the previous west coast tidal stream ‘It’s Just a Ride’ deals out beads, incense, and peppermint boards with copious amounts of hash. I love the washed out beach boy, chocolate watch band, strawberry alarm clock guitar sound. Fantastic and mesmerising but there isn’t much space going on, only an enveloping purple haze.

‘Bullshit Detector’ promises something far more akin to space rock, but strikes me as being  psychedelic, although the riff could have been lifted from Hawkwind circa 1971. I am such a fan of bands who are able to successfully transport you back in time with nothing more than an inventive interpretation of a bygone era. This certainly does , that by the bucket loads, and what’s more there is what sounds to me like jamming on this track. Groovy man!

‘Nothing Is Real’ takes us back to ‘Waiting For The War’, and with that I am beginning to conclude  unfortunately, that  this album is turning into something of a hit and miss affair. Most of the tracks are expansive and amazing, but again we find ourselves here listening to something far more derivative. I imagine it must be difficult to retain a sense of originality but because of this, there is always going to be a danger of partial parody and unfortunately this track definitely falls on the latter side, and not in a good way. Maybe it’s just lacking a good hook and that’s what is missing. Let’s face it Lorenzo you can write great tunes so I see no excuse for the apparent oversight.

‘Love Like A Flower’, yet once again we are hit squarely in the face with a washed out Standells garage style song that makes my soul smile. ‘Love Like A Flower’ makes me want to make a daisy chain so I can wear it as a crown, while changing my name by depoll to Parsley. Great pop psych that tips its hat to not only garage greats, but also finds room to give homage to bands like Phluph who emerged for a moment in the 60s before disappearing into the mist.

Again, in a continuous topsy-turvy motion between elation and abject disappointment the last two closing tracks ‘Third Eye Surgery’ and ‘Honalee’ emit a summation of all the bad parts found in track 2 and track six. This has therefore become something of a strange beast of a release. One minute I find myself loving Lorenzo’s enduring detail on how to write convincing 60s psychedelia. This however has been during the course of the review short lived, and I have been overwhelmed by the lack of continuity.

So is this a space rock album? In my opinion no it isn’t.  If this was meant to be something of a homage to those long haired space cadets, then I am afraid Baby Rosewood missed the launch pad by a mile. If however this was meant to be a psychedelic interpretation of space rock, well then he may just have managed to gain a grip on its very outer limits. Should you buy this album, yes indeed you should, there are some killer tracks and it is well worth the journey. But if you were to ask Spock whether this was a space rock album, I believe he would say ‘No Jim not as we know it’.

Label: Bad Afro Records

Scribed by: Pete Giles