Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spacemen 3 -- Perfect Prescription

Probably the best Spacemen 3 record, this is some of the greatest psychedelic music to come out of the late 80's and 90's. It's a concept album chronicling an drug trip starting off with a drug score powered by Lou Reed's "Street Hassle" and steadily building up to its hard charging peak with Red Krayola's "Transparent Radiation" which doesn't even require drums to send your limbic system into overdrive. Not long after the album peaks, the doctor's been called and it's clear things are never going to be the same for our weary space traveler. The drums finally kick in as the listener's spirit is shuttled to ecstasy or heaven or outer space--take your pick. You can never really tell the difference when Jason Pierce is involved. While the band's next album, Recurring, probably was a more clear indication of the direction J. Spaceman was taking us, this record more completely foreshadows all the elements of a Spiritualized masterpiece like Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space. Psyched-out droney gospel music that blurs the lines between drugs, space, time, heaven, hell and religion. I'm never really sure which is which in these songs when after all, the authors seem to feel they are one in the same. Is Jesus the drug or the pusher? Are we blasting off into space, tripping our faces off, or being carried into heaven/drug down into hell? I really like this record considered within the trajectory of Jason Pierce's ascent. I still haven't really grown to appreciate Peter Kember's solo work, but when I do I think this album will sound even better than it already does. For me now, I just see it as a early ancestor of Ladies and Gentlemen...I'm sure hardcore fans could point out all the flaws in that statement, but nobody reads this blog anyway, so it's fine. Stand out tracks include "Ode to Street Hassle," "Walking with Jesus," and "That's Just Fine."

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