Thursday, February 2, 2012
Pharaoh Overlord - "Lunar Jetman" (2012) [SIGE/Ektro Records]
I really am glad I gave this album a fair chance, as Lunar Jetman shows immense growth in the Pharaoh Overlord camp. Moving away from their "consistent, hypnotic repetition" route of execution, Lunar Jetman follows the example set forth by the Reich-ian school of thought. As layers of sound are stacked on top of the repetitive base, it begins to shift under the weight, and upper echelons follow suit as they begin to buckle under the sheer weight of sound above them. Eventually, you arrive at an entirely different conclusion. This sort of transformation is always a treat, especially given the trance-inducing nature of the music (and perfectly embodied in the two-part "Cave of Hair"); you snap out of it and find yourself in different surroundings. Looking down, you'll notice I imbued this album with the all-encompassing "krautrock" tag, but don't expect your standard Neu! or Amon Duul (one or II, take your pick) thoroughfare. Unlike other emulation-based "krauty" acts, Pharaoh Overlord isn't afraid to meddle in free jazz and Sabbathian doom metal, as seen in the "Cave of Hair" diptych and "Black Horse" respectively. Don't let Lunar Jetman's inherent "headiness" deter you, as it is actually a "fun" sounding record. Yes, there are long bouts of free-jazz inspired psychedelia and neo-Hawkwind noise generator meditations, but there is a sort of joyous, Springlike warmth that plagues this record, making it both infectious and memorable.
Fittingly named, Lunar Jetman's cosmic scope takes the listener to the Moon and beyond. With a skyward gaze, Pharaoh Overlord fills their gas tank with groovy riffs, nebular psychedelia, and tons upon tons of hallucinogens. Be sure to pre-order this one from Aaron Turner and Faith Coloccia's (yes, the ones you are thinking of) SIGE Records ASAP, as there are only 530 copies being pressed.