As I’ve mentioned before, the eponymous Lidders LP from this year showed a very different side of the band than I’d first encountered a couple of years back. When The Heavy Lidders spang into existence, extending cuts from Alexander’s solo record, Meditations For Beowulf they began digging deep into the clay at the bottom of the psychedelic well. The early shows of 2019 found them exhume the ghosts of a spectral blues form, laying pelt and provision on the altar of Crazy Horse, Groundhogs, and Guru Guru. There’s a feeling of the untethered end of the ‘70s on Elixor of Life — rooted in the psychedelic blues that were dripping down from the ‘60s Brits, but plunged into a deep late night narcotic feel. Where West and Pappalardi began their mind-meld in the wild, The Heavy Lidders pick at the synthesis and trek further into mists of the skull-lined Gris Gris swamp the Dr. Was exploring in ’68.
The album is full nod, a full body vibration into the improvisational prowess of the assembled players (Jesse and Drew of Elkhorn, Scott from Kohoutek alongside Jeffrey). The band scrapes the underside of the sun as they work through the opener, a gnarled tumble through shade and shimmer. They take on Dixon’s “Spoonful” like a right of passage, managing to leave new marks on a psych-blues classic that has been manhandled long before they got there. The storms gather on “Hermits of The Ridge,” an window opening to their tightness, but its on the closer, the 16-minute “Ashokan” that the band begin levitating off the plane. A funereal/Ritual crawl laced with flute, the song curls around cosmos with a furnace light flicker. A document of devastation if there ever was one.
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