LSD and the Search for God ‘Heaven Is a Place’ EP
Deep Space Recordings
Release date: January 15, 2016
(CD available through Mind Expansion)
I was given the extremely cool chance to listen to and review this brandnew release of LSD and the Search for God, and I’m very excited to say it’s a worthwhile and really great follow-up to the 2007’s self-titled EP. They return to a more psychedelic rock sound similar to how I heard them at the SF Dreamgaze fest in August of 2015, appearing like a menacing, vivid colored psychedelic monster with a guitar in one hand and a knife in the other. No joke, their drummer that night was so badass, she lit a joint between songs and couldn’t stop playing to pull it out of her mouth mid-song, so she just kept playing while puffing the whole thing away. No coughing at all. Insane. Andy Liszt (lead male vocals, guitar) does these beautifully improvised noise interludes between the songs that I found hugely inspiring as a noise musician myself: he has 3 massive pedal-boards surrounding him, and he’s constantly working with them as he plays. I clearly understand why he ended up playing in Sciflyer and the new lineup for the Telescopes, seriously.
Anyway, before I diverge too much, let’s go up to Heaven, yeah?
“Heaven is a Place”
“Heaven” takes the form of a mightily lumbering beast of blissful roaring sound that slowly seems to descend from the sky down to where we await. (For a few seconds, I was pleasantly reminded of the first two Tamaryn albums, with Rex’s famous/infamous waves of tremelo’d Space-Echo guitar tones.) Crashing drums herald its thunderous approach. Along with LSD‘s characteristic dual male/female vocals, we hear the classic scream of psychedelic phasers in combat with swaying layers of droning guitars. Like the Brian Jonestown Massacre at their most shoegazey. The comparison is definitely fair as one of the BJM, Ricky Maymi, played drums on this album.
Andy narrates his romantic misadventures on the next song, “(I don’t think that we should) take it slow“, backed up by Sophia’s velvety moans, as he paints a story in song of what I can only imagine is one hell of a drug fueled affair. Soon after, they’re rocketing into space and apparently in slow, dreamy, sexy love. “Outer Space” slows the album down to a crooning drag, not quite killing its momentum but definitely feeling like a comedown from the heroin noise of the last two songs. Strange sounds whisper by in the stereo space-scape as we fly through the void. As the song slowly fades out, a few last plaintive strings echo out…
…setting us up for the next song, as we return to a familiar place, a song that reminded me of their first EP’s song, “This Time” as once again Andy’s voice and a soft melody with relaxed drums following guide us calmly through a whistling, howling wind of layered, modulating strings. Whoever “Elizabeth” is, there’s obviously something sentimental and different about her. Calm but hypnotizing.
Closing the album, the sinister “Without you” stares out onto a darkening sky as the sun goes down and the mood of the album descends into misery over a world gone bad too fast. Eventually, the speed picks up, and the entire band goes into a screaming, aggressively moody descent into madness which eventually breaks into slow hell. “I’m gonna die..” Andy groans. One of my biggest bones to pick is that so often the lyrics are lost in whispers or in the cascading noise, but hey, that’s one of the usual trademarks of the shoegaze genre. Most bands don’t even want you to hear the words; the voices themselves are part of the textural blur of sound. This is one of the few songs where I was actually even able to follow what they’re singing.
Overall, this album ended too quickly for me, but shit, it hits hard. They dose us up again and again with their reverb-soaked noise, instantly decimating the empty silence between this and their last release into a rocketship that’s finally landed…
in a place called Heaven….
Author Wesley Breard has listened to a whooooole lot of music in my rather short but wild life, since I’ve had the true pleasure of hanging around Los Angeles’ underground music scene for a few years now, and so I consider myself well-read (enough), especially when it comes to good sound textures, authentic atmosphere and just plain cool stuff. I also make music under the moniker Hikikomori.
Almost nine years to the day since the release of their first, self-titled EP, LSD and the Search for God dose us once again with their blissful new EP, Heaven Is a Place—out January 15, 2016, on Deep Space Recordings!
In the time between LSD records the band remained busy writing, recording, and performing, with this EP capturing a snapshot in time soon after the additions of Ryan Lescure and Ricky Maymi (Brian Jonestown Massacre). They’ve been perfecting their lucid live show up and down the U.S. West Coast and on tours across the U.S. and Canada, including sets at Austin Psych Fest Levitation (2013), Bathysphere (2013) with A Place To Bury Strangers, and Desert Stars Festival (2014) with The Dandy Warhols. LSD twice toured the U.S. with legendary Creation Records band The Telescopes, with Liszt, Fifield, and Maymi doing double-duty each night, performing as members of both LSD and The Telescopes. This collaboration led to The Telescopes’ recording project in Los Angeles that resulted in two records: the acclaimed EP, Harm (Neon Sigh 2014), and a 7” single, Thrown (Genjing Records 2015).
Over the years, LSD and the Search for God’s cult-like following within the underground psych/space/shoegaze community has remained as passionate as ever, and this new EP picks up where they last left off—then blasts off for parts unknown.
LSD are :
Chris Fifield // Guitar
Sophia Campbell // Vocals
Ryan Lescure // Bass
Ricky Maymi // Drums
Andy Liszt // Vocals, Guitar