Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere

rating icon 8.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Intro
02. Silent Pictures
03. Coming Down from Outer Space
04. Laser Headlights
05. Red River
06. Infinite Skies
07. Center of Everywhere
08. Outro

You know the legend and the prerequisite for being in league with Lori S. and longtime drone rawk favorites, ACID KING: You have to read David St. Claire's "Say You Love Satan" just to be in the band, one that has eaten up bassists over the years like the heinous Ricky Kasso and the acid tablets that got him into heaps of trouble. Forget the insidious character who inspired the band's name. ACID KING's latest album, "Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere" is guaranteed to please their fans as Lori S. and her crew show how this stuff's done.

The shambling "Intro" is a tasty greeting track leading into Lori S.'s buzzing chimes picked up by Mark Lamb's plugging bass lines and Joey Osbourne's shuffle stamps on the nine minute "Silent Pictures". If you know ACID KING, you know you're going to take a long ride of hallucinogenic, drawn-out guitar and bass before you ever hear Lori S. sing. Like her guitar playing, her chants are happily drowsy; her numinous high pitches are soothing spots to nudge back with. As one the underground's most underrated guitarists, she puts on a clinic of drone and acid-rock techniques with her long chords yowling over the polyrhythmic zombie slide behind her. What Adrienne Davies is to Dylan Carlson in EARTH, Joey Osbourne is to Lori S., albeit the latter team moves along at a somewhat brisker tempo.

Mark Lamb and Lori S. drop some beastly low-end distortion on "Coming Down From Outer Space" as Lori S. grizzles up a tad on the mike and guides her band through recurring chord spools for three minutes solid. Joey Osbourne clumps along to the overt wooziness of the song until the band hits a few progression maneuvers before reasserting the primary whirring melody.

"Laser Headlights" is another one of those prime MELVINS-if-led-by-a-lady sludge behemoths, but given Lori S.'s acumen, a couple of spaced-out, metalled-up solo sections where she touches on the borders of the cosmic gives the song even heavier character leading to its dense finish. Her echoing reverb carrying into the 8:38 slog-fest "Red River" is just heavy in all connotations of the word — ditto on the groovy-trippy "Center of Everywhere". Mark Lamb provides huge mass on "Red River" while Joey Osbourne giddily dumps snare-tom rolls everywhere he can get away with while stressing the beats of his slow-plugging groove. Lori S. gets lost in the reverie of her finest chops on "Red River", and the listener will do likewise — with or without supplemental assistance.

The supreme bloating of Lamb's bass increases on the next track, "Infinite Skies", and if you're a longtime ACID KING fan, you're no doubt all over this dude's junk. Since coming aboard in the wake of Rafael "Rafa" Martinez's departure, Lamb has given Lisa S. all the audile syrup she needs to keep this band heavier than a five-hundred-pound dead lift. Suffice it to say, "Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere" is a drone-socked winner: headphones mandatory.

Author: Ray Van Horn, Jr.
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