After albums by Yordan Orchestra and MYTRON plus several singles of his own, Dutch Psych maestro Jack Ellister is back with his first full length LP.
The set opens with The Man With The Biochopper, which first appeared on Ellister’s 2013 released Fruits de Mer single. I was smitten with this song on the first spin two years ago and dig it even more on this fresh revisit. It’s a monstrously mind-bending slab of spaced out Psychedelia that’s like a combination of Syd-era Floyd and the more contemporary Vibravoid, to give newcomers to Ellister’s music a reference point. And I love how the song ends on a screaming high intensity note, leaving the listener white knuckled and pop-eyed, only to segue into the acoustic based The Sun Sends Me Hail, Victory, Power, Peace and Shelter (as much a mouthful as the album title). Its starts off gentle but then starts to rock out with Bowie flavored vocals, bringing to mind the acoustic songs from Hunky Dory. But things change quickly as the music gets more freaky and effects-laden and closes with a plane engine noisy finale. Saddle Up The Horse is a catchy, bouncy, Folk infused Psychedelic Power-Pop tune with some crazy wailing sax. Calm Adapter is a lysergically meditative, ambient and Shoegaze driven lullaby. Great Esmeralda playfully teases the listener by alternating between freaky spaced out buildups and power rocking segments, before finally letting the full song loose. This bleeds seamlessly into the brief but totally freaked out Wishmachine, which combines free-wheeling tripped out instrumental bits and song snippets. Old South is the most instrumentally stripped down song of the set, being a tasty singer-songwriter acoustic guitar and vocals song. Curator goes back into space, being a freakily haunting soundscape and effects driven song with ghostly vocals that are part drone-chant and part singing. Finally, A Hunter Needs A Gun closes the set as monstrously exciting as it opened, with a song that along with The Man With The Biochopper may be, in my opinion, the two best Psych songs of the year. It’s totally trippy and totally catchy, Psychedelically uplifting and intense. I like how the guitar licks scream, the vocals are angst ridden, but both are tempered by heavenly drifting keys, melodic guitar solo and dreamy atmospherics. Lots happening here and it’s all very cool.
In summary, this a kick ass set of spaced out Psychedelic songs with beautifully crafted production and arrangements. Highest recommendation!
This is a vinyl only release pressed on blue/turquoise 180gr vinyl with poster in a frighteningly small quantity of only 111 copies. In fact, according to the Fruits de Mer web site it’s already sold out. No surprises there. But this is too damn good to not make more widely available. The cover art was done by artist Anne von Freyburg, who was Ellister’s partner on the 2011 released Palast CDEP recorded as MYTRON.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz