Naked, Stoned & Stabbed

The mysterious Bay Area collective known as Mushroom is a two-headed monster. One head is the Ditty, wherein aspects of mod-trad 1960s UK folk and succinct psychedelic rock intermingle, with the other being the Interstellar Dark, a fathomless, all-consuming cosmic maw inspired by the open-ended, mostly instrumental works by Gong, Can, Miles Davis, and even 1970s-era Santana. Mushroom's latest, Naked, Stoned, & Stabbed, achieves a union of these seemingly disparate cranial concepts. As trippy and unfettered as it is, there's no prolonged navel-gazing, no meandering jizz.

In a way, it recalls Brian Eno's Another Green World, as pieces inexplicably blossom, then just as enigmatically fade. For the most part, verse-chorus-verse and catchy melody are supplanted by mood and instrumental interaction. "Tariq Ali" is essentially Eastern-tinged electric guitar elegantly doing a minuet with droning sitar while being joyfully enveloped by other stringed and percussive things. "Jerry Rubin: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" is an ominously shimmering, almost dub-like haze punctuated by eerie, John Cale-like violin screech and percolating congas.

Only one track has singing, the jaunty "Singing A Song in the Morning," a 1969 collaboration between Syd Barrett and Kevin Ayers, voiced by Sonya Hunter. This is the only spot on the album that has overkill — it sounds as if Mushroom tried to squeeze all of 1967 into three minutes! That said, Mushroom — featuring Josh Pollock, Erik Pearson, and Pat Thomas, among others — puts more creativity, good-natured audacity, more music, into 55 minutes than many bands put into their entire careers. (Royal Potato Family)


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in CD Reviews

Author Archives

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

The Beer Issue 2020

The Decade in Review

The events and trends that shaped the Teens.

Best of the East Bay


© 2020 Telegraph Media    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation