Album of the Week: The Silence, Electric Meditations

Strange days have found us. As such, my brain has been craving a tickle by the off kilter and The Silence delivered with the psychedelic trip that is Electric Meditations.

The people of this world are capable — and culpable — of great harm. Of great healing too! In power trio (plus saxes and flutes), The Silence guide the listener through a unique sequence of electric meditations to reorient your perspective. Savage and dirty rock poses to help you expel the harshness from your soul!

Reorient my perspective? My perspective don’t need no stinkin’ reorienting! being my initial reaction. But come to think of it, my perspective clearly needs reorienting seeing as I have developed the bad habit of watching the news which has brought on the unfortunate news-watching short-term view of events that can only be made sense of over time — distance heals all wounds.

Electric Meditations feels like a long day’s journey into psych, or a loose mix of improvisation on top of even more improvisation with a passing nod to structure to keep this trip somewhat grounded in song form. The Silence are a classic three piece dirty rock band plus one — Masaki Batoh: Guitar and Vocal, Futoshi Okano: Drums, Taiga Yamazaki: Bass and Vocal, plus Ryuichi Yoshida: Baritone Saxophone and Flute. Being a fan of every incarnation of Acid Mothers Temple…, I hear similarities with The Silence or perhaps better stated as a clear influence if we take chronology into account.

The title track opens with a clear riff reference to The Doors “Five To One” whose lyrics are worth repeating:

Five to one, baby
One in five
No one here gets out alive, now
You get yours, baby
I’ll get mine
Gonna make it, baby
If we try

The band does an outright cover of  “I’m A Man,” Bo Didley’s much-covered (Muddy Waters) classic, with an excoriating build to utter abandon, punching it well past 11 and into the cosmos, all savage and dirty. This is an all-analog recording and the sound is rich, immediate, and hot.

Released this month on Drag City, Electric Meditations may be just what the doctor ordered (if you believe in doctors and orders).