Review: Jeffrey Alexander + Heavy Lidders ‘Elixor Of Life’
Cardinal Fuzz (UK/Europe) and Centripetal Force (North America) will be releasing a 300-copy vinyl run of Jeffrey Alexander + Heavy Lidders newest album, Elixor Of Life. The album features four tracks of psychedelic based music, two songs per side, and is one of the loosest feeling albums that I’ve heard in a while.
I pulled this next section directly from the PR release because it explains things quite well, so all credit for the following paragraph goes to the original writer…
‘In 1694, the Transylvanian-born Johannes Kelpius, a man of great intellect and spirituality, settled in newly-founded Philadelphia. Joining him in establishing residence on the wood-ed hillsides overlooking Wissahickon Creek were dozens of other men who would become known as The Society of the Woman in the Wilderness, a collective of meditational monks whose central tenets included the use of instrumental music as a mode for worship. It should come as no surprise then to learn that Jeffrey Alexander, who today lives mere steps from these mystic grounds, has tapped into the lore of this mysterious society. Alexander and his own band of spiritual wanderers not only practice the same kind of meta-physical transference with their music, a sort of elixor within itself, they also pay homage to Kelpius and his order with the aptly titled Hermits Of The Ridge.’
The songs on this record do have the ability to pull you into a trance, with their loose flowing guitar passages, a tight rhythm section holding things in place, and that musical abandon that only music like this is able to offer the listener.
The first track on the B-side is the aforementioned Hermits Of The Ridge, which I think is the best track presented. There’s something about the beginning that makes me think of the desert and a band of musicians pouring their hearts into their instruments. As I think about it more, I can only assume that this vision is a by-product of The Doors influence that I hear.
an album of free-flowing jams that embrace musical freedom and take the songs into another level of being…
Around three minutes in, the band seems to pull back a bit, allowing the guitar to take center stage and pulling you in close as the song slowly comes to its end. As everything fades out, you get the feeling this was exactly how they wanted to leave you, and it works quite perfectly.
As for the A-side, I find that I enjoy the second track a bit more than the first. Spoonful is a slice of old-school psych, and also has that The Doors feel to it; excluding the vocals, which have their own sound to them, and is decidedly not The Doors-like.
What sticks out the most to me is the solid bass and drum work. These guys do the bulk of the work in terms of creating a tight unit for the guitars to do their thing. Bassists get picked on a lot, but I feel that a band like this is unable to function without one.
As with the other tracks, there is a loose, jam band feel, but that seems to be lessened when the vocals are going… but not by very much at all. The guitars are still flowing underneath, almost interacting against those vocals, but in a cool, relaxed way.
Jeffrey Alexander + Heavy Lidders have created an album of free-flowing jams that embrace musical freedom and take the songs into another level of being. If you’ve ever enjoyed any of Jeffrey Alexander‘s previous work, then this is yet another record you’ll want to add to your collection!!! So, sit down, dim the lights, and get your head right for the musical journey you’re about to take, and most importantly, Enjoy!!!
Label: Cardinal Fuzz Records | Centripetal Force Records
Band Links: Official | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram
Scribed by: Tom Hanno