Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Get Way (High) Out West with Spindrift's Classic Soundtracks , Vol. 1

Posted By on Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 1:20 PM

click to enlarge listenwhilehigh_graphic_thumb_500x90.jpg

Listen to this while high: Spindrift's Classic Soundtracks, Vol. 1

click to enlarge spindrift_500.jpg

Behind the buzz: Experimental rockers from Delaware, Spindrift drifted west in the '90s to embrace the reigning space-cowboy psychedelic aesthetic. Going a bit overboard, as new-minted Californians will, they took in Ennio Morricone and Eurowestern movie music as well. Film Threat calls this fourth Spindrift album "rock 'n' roll for cinephiles," while invoking other name-brand auteurs like Peckinpah, Tarantino, and Corman.

Today's dope: A fat purplish bud of Grape Ape.





Themes from Imaginary Carnage: "Japexico" is an eerie opening fanfare that evokes the very short-lived "kung-fu Western" genre of the '70s so beloved of grindhouse movie fans. "Space Vixens Theme" sports wicked sick sitar picking amid mirage-like atmospherics. "Hellbound" is a last-train-to-Gehenna instrumental highlighted by Morriconelike nonsense chanting over a pealing bell, and "Theme from Confusion Range" is closer to first-wave psych, with the surf-rock melody carrying gnomic lyrics along like so much gully-washed flotsam. "When I Was Free" sounds like a mournful saloon dirge by comparison, but "Theme from Ghost Patrol" is a return to the wide-open Technicolor spaces of the earlier tracks. "The Legend of the Widower Colby Wallace" is a long meditation over a twisted and wrecked landscape -- the toxic and evil flipside to sugary aural tourism like Ferde Grofé's "Grand Canyon Suite." A Jimmy Dean-style badman's story song, "Theme from Amboy" rings false in precisely the same way as David Mamet's dialogue would in a Hoot Gibson movie. "Roundup" sounds like just that, and "Showdown" is one long glorious twitch of rising tension like the three-way standoff that ends The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly. Kirpatrick Thomas' lead guitar runs are magisterially mystic in the way of George Harrison's early solo albums. "Theme from Drifter's Pass" is an eight-minute gaze into the campfire with lyrics relating some disaster in flashback. "Red Reflection" closes out the set in a heat-shimmering haze, the vocals keening in high-lonesome ecstasy before the whole thing grinds to a hydraulic stop.

Psychoactive verdict: Though the few actual songs don't stray far from durable templates of '50s cowboy music or '60s psych, the instrumentals are as trippy and THC friendly as anything non-Bootsy reviewed here in quite some time.

This toke's for you: Noble, steely-eyed James Arness, who died on Friday at age 88.

----
Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, follow Ron Garmon @RockyRedGlare, and like us at Facebook.com/SFAllShookDown.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Ron Garmon

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"