Enlightened psychedelic rock
Hungarian rockers Lemurian Folk Songs are an interesting quartet. With their new album ‘Logos’ they’ve merged together the song structures from prog-rock and post-rock genres and given it a lick of psychedelic paint. The result? Its a heady and expansive collection of rock songs in no hurry to end.
Almost every song on ‘Logos’ is over seven minutes long, with half approaching nine in length. This lets Lumurian Folk Songs move between parts of songs and let them breathe. It is also why I liken their music to post rock. That genre loves to take 10 minutes to build to a climax. Here, the climax doesn’t really happen but instead you go on a riff led walkabout.
Tracks like ‘Sierra Tejeda’, ‘Lantern’ and ‘Firelake’ all kick ass out of the gate and then spend their length manipulating around you like a coiling snake. It might be that the guitar riff moves away from the key it started in or that the dissonant vocals echo in and out instead. The songs are always moving and transforming and its the key to holding your interest. The title track is one of the best examples as it starts off with chimes and gongs like a new-age piece before the rock element kicks in. It feels like you are moving with the band through each track.
There is one minor down side to this though. Five of the six tracks sound and feel the same rhythmically and sonically. It means that the album sounds better and fresher when you break the songs apart and listen to them individually. I found that if I played the album in any order, my favourite would be whatever I listened to first and that my ears would get bored later on down the line. A small tweak in mixing or maybe some tempo variation would work wonders on these long compositions.
I’d like to doff my cap to the guitarist and drummer especially. ‘Calcination’ is the closest the band gets to a gentle track and in some ways, it reminds me of the new jazz movement. The guitar riffs and rolling drums are superb from a technical perspective. It is also the only piece without vocals and the vocals are a bit of a mixed bag. Someone has been a bit too heavy on the muddy reverb peddle and that makes them sound out of tune sometimes. When the effects are off, the vocals are fine though – it is just a step too far for my personal taste to try and heighten the psychedelic feel.
Lemurian Folk Songs shouldn’t need to rely on effects tricks though. The production and the way the bass, guitars and percussion are layered into a mesh of sound does the job well enough already. The musicians certainly have talent. They just need to find the mix of what they do that showcases them better.
Recommended track: Logos
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