Review: Volume ‘Requesting Permission To Land’ [Reissue]

Two types of Kyuss fans remain long after the dust has settled. Kyuss friends and fans that followed everyone over to the Heavy Psych Sounds label, such as Brant Bjork and Unida. Then, there are the Kyuss fans who watched and stuck it through after the rise and fall of QOTSA’s first album. The Kyuss flag was still being flown after it unfolded during post-Kyuss days, but somehow masks were falling off, and dark egos revealed themselves with even darker shadow selves once the Palm Desert War was truly over. You can honestly even branch out into wild abandonment if you choose to include the ‘Scott Reeder Era’, yet while everybody wasn’t watching there were other bands in and around the Mojave Desert from 1991 to 1995. This band coincidentally was one of them.

Volume 'Requesting Permission To Land' Artwork
Volume ‘Requesting Permission To Land’ Artwork

Volume comes on with little warning, but safety isn’t an issue when you’re an element of intergalactic star seed strapped to a Stratocaster shifting out psychedelia side effects at alarming rates. Wah-wah pedals tweak and turn to each strum as if they were sirens. We’re left falling into an abyss of an echoing past. Faces and places are spinning past reminding us of an illuminous void that, while in slow motion, we’re all getting sucked into, no matter what side of the fence you currently stand on.

Don’t Look Around on this newly pressed vinyl reminds me of Rob Tyner from MC5 finally seeing the limelight he truly deserved and playing acid rock with Jimi Hendrix for a once-in-a-lifetime album. In the latter parts of Requesting Permission To Land, Scott Reeder does have a Mitch Mitchell moment on the drums, while Tom Owsley is rattling some pots and pans making for some hallucinogenic percussion noises. Somehow and on time, the album grounds us and brings our expansive subconscious back down to earth. 

I have flashbacks of Patrick Brink’s youth drifting through his hometown in Twentynine Palms on a Tony Hawk skateboard. A California rebel with every LA punk cause to be King of the Road during his prime. Most likely, he was crashing out on couches in the background of the Lo Desert band houses. He mixed and mingled with The Sluts and Germs by day, but at night you would find him out at the abandoned skatepark that hosted the infamous generator parties. The influence of every single acidic, dirt rock band at the time is hard to deny in Volume.

Coming from one of the original singers of Fu Manchu at the time, Patrick Brink is back from the desert rock’s future past. He looks like a pale astronaut who has just witnessed a flatter dimension of Earth than anyone could have imagined. He’s landed and exposed the full desert rock history truth to us all now that he’s had a glimpse from above it all. He leaves no stone unturned in Make Believe because the pretentious games of Josh Homme and head trips from Brant Bjork are alas behind him and others.

He’s free to explore the wide-open terrain on all five tracks in one or two takes tops. That’s all any human is allowed to do in this existence anyhow and walk out with their own genuine mind and dignity. The nature of the beast has left Brink unscathed nor amused at the false prophets out there professing their desert rock lineage, is a direct descendant of the lost tribes of Joshua Tree. Volume are simply solid champs in the end times because they have had a lot of years for their battle wounds to heal from the bureaucracy that left all their closest friends stark raving blind.   

The original recording of Requesting Permission To Land was custom-tailored by the producer of Jon Spencer’s Blues Explosion. It hints at being way under polished or it was their intention at the time to outdo Spine Of God. Either or, the LP is a decadent doozy with vocals through a bullhorn acting as a subliminal wake-up call. This underground, holy grail re-issue is definitely worth exploring once again and now on a turntable for the first time.

Label: Weird Beard Records | We, Here And Now | Echodelick Records | Worst Bassist Records | Ramble Records
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Scribed by: Spring ‘The Strutter’ Chase