First off, Ben Chasny, lead singer and guitar player for space-n-acid rock band Six Organs of Admittance, loves a heavy psych guitar solo. Just listen to the brutal opener “Waswasa” and tell me his Comets on Fire days are behind him.
But Chasny and his partners – guitarists Ethan Miller and Noel Von Harmonson, bassist Ben Flashman and drummer Utrillo Kushner – work well together as a band. Listening to :”Close To the Sky” and what starts off with a solid bass line and drum rhythm, builds into a Neil Young & Crazy Horse-like frenzy before slowing back down. And that Neil reference is deliberate. There are plenty o’ nods to 60’s-era psychedelia and early-to-mid 70’s guitar soloing and Hawkwind-like space noodlings. That would make sense. Chasny says Ascent was inspired by a dream he had – a dream about a man who escapes Earth, seeking life elsewhere and drifts through the cosmos. Far out!
“One Thousand Birds” rises – or,perhaps “ascends” – to the occasion, particularly with the feedback-drenched solos, and that hypnotic bassline (thanks, Ben Flashman!).
The finger-picking acoustic guitar sounds of “Your Ghost,” with Chasny doing his folk thing, sings “When you arrived from deep space / They gave hellos / from a sick world / living as a ghost.” Eerie.
And then there is the transcendant, raga stylings of “They Called You Near.”
And on the ethereal rock of “Visions (From Io)” (check out the cool painting on the album cover of a skeletal astronaut on a Jovian moon), Chasny tells a story of a trip, presumably to Jupiter’s fiery moon of Io where “Winds are clawing at my suit / Satanic rockets have launched / men through the void.” Trippy imagery and Chasny and the Six Organs handle it beautifully. While we get only 8 songs, each one is worth repeated spins. A real psychedelic gem!
01 - Waswasa
02 - Close to the Sky
03 - They Called You Near
04 - Solar Ascent
05 - One Thousand Birds
06 - Your Ghost
07 - Even If You Knew
08 - Visions (From Io)