A searing debut from The Ecstasy of Gold marks the beginning of documenting the band’s improv jams, recorded over the last ten years. Culled from hours of recordings, the songs on Volume One find the LA band reaching for cosmic expanses within improvisational spaces tossed to tape, never to be replicated again. The band boasts two members of unsung heroes Acetone, beloved by heads and country-psych heretics, but often left out of conversations revolving around ‘90s legends. Here Mark Lightcap and Steve Hadley link up with Jason Yates, Senon Williams (Dengue Fever), rounding out their sound with an ear towards deep twilight prog, post-rock psychedelics, and smoke-ringed Americana.
The instrumentals singe the speakers, seething and flexing against the bounds of the room. The patience of Acetone is present in Lightcap’s guitars, but the prog and jazz touches pull it far afield from the legacy of their sun-parched past. As the album delves deeper it finds quite a bit in common with the current El Paraiso Roster, straddling jazz-psych and heady guitar explorations with an understated grace. The sewn together nature of the recordings pulls away from a cohesive nature to the album, but as the band cuts down dark alleyways and reaches the upper atmosphere it hardly feels necessary to pull the sutures on the songs tight. The volume designation gives the impression that this is just the beginning of the band unloading their archives, and if this is the first taste, then I’ll certainly be back for more.
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