Justin Wright and his juggernaut of dark psychedelia, Expo '70, have been kicking around for a good while now, and showing up in the pages of RSTB with a regularity that might rival some of my top obsessions. This new release was recorded in 2012 prior to Kansas City's Psychfest and with the current trio lineup employed by the band. Over the last year or so the band has transitioned from floating drone warriors to Krautrock hypnotists to a power trio of psychedelic doombringers. The current lineup has a gift for balancing ominous restraint with wrathful fury, a combination that leads to one of the darker releases of the year and a jewel in Expo '70's already bursting catalog. As with any Expo '70 jaunt, the tracks extend into side-long, or nearly side-long lengths, the band at its best when embracing their improvisation-heavy style of recording. Locked in like they're sharing a unified, burning need to set fire to the studio through the intensity of their playing, the band scorches the first couple of tracks here with their own brand of vicious flame. These two lock into cosmic force with a tendency to reach deep down into that Krautrock obsession that's reared its head in the past, but as they ease into the final chapter the band lets loose their sci-fi impulses and floats heavily into a Kosmiche journey through synth swirl that hearkens back to some of their early, drummerless beginnings, while dipping nicely into headier waters. Again, one of the band's highlights in a career of necessary releases.
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