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Invisible White



  Tee Pee Records  
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Ancestors are a heavy psychedelic quintet from LA. They often get lumped into the "doom metal" category, but i find them to be a little more in the vein on late 1960s acid rock groups -- more Jefferson Airplane than Jesu, if you will. Invisible White is their fourth release, their first EP, and their first release after replacing founding synth player (synthesist?) Chico Foley.

This is my introduction to the band, so i can't speak to previous incarnations. However, Invisible White is an interesting collection of long, spacey songs in a vaguely Western vein. The EP clocks in at just under half an hour, and has three songs, so we are looking at some long pieces here. Let's go over each.

The title track kicks things off, and immediately you feel the Old West. This song is the soundtrack to a tragic scene in a saloon, all old-timey piano and plucked guitar over tapped drums. The hero stands at the bar, his six shooter resting beside a bottle of bourbon, when the villain wanders in. Two voices exchange lyrics over a deep organ rumbling that meanders like Dennis DeYoung's solo in the long version of Come Sail Away. Eventually, the two voices harmonize in a wonderful and epic way, a resolution to the fight that doesn't involve shooting each other. This is an odd song, and i am not sure if i like it.

Dust features a flute, acoustic guitars, and the two voices, both reedy and sad as they harmonize. Again, the song has a vaguely western plains feel to it. It moves at a slow crawl though, while the previous track moved at a decent amble.

The third track, clocking in at fourteen minutes and taking up half of the available length here, is called Epilog. It starts the same as the other two tracks, with scattered piano echoing alone, then, suddenly a whining guitar slides in with scattered drumming. The song grows into a flurry of long, distorted bluesy jams, and here they band remind me a lot of Pink Floyd. Where the first tune gave me a really strong mental image of gunfighters in an old west saloon, this song is the soundtrack to an apocalyptic sci-fi cartoon, preferably drawn by Ralph Bakshi. I keep expecting Rogers Waters to pipe in at any minute.... If you like that sort of spaced out jam, then this is a pretty good example of the genre. I think that, of the three tracks available here, it best showcases what Ancestors are doing.

The whole EP is pretty interesting, but given the length of the tunes and the general meanderingness of it, it is clearly not for everyone.

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