Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ancestors - Of Sound Mind

Of Sound Mind
Tee Pee

One thing I’ve noticed about the kind of cosmic doom that’s the stock in trade of bands like Ancestors: it’s usually much more impressive live than on record. The recording studio often blunts the impact, making the lengthy, deliberately paced riff crunch more boring than it ought to be, while the stage loudly highlights the deliberate intensity. Which is a roundabout way of saying I wasn’t expecting much from this Ancestors record. I saw the band at SXSW a year or three ago, and was extremely unimpressed. The L.A. quintet seemed bored by its own music, and if they didn’t care, why should I?

Of Sound Mind, though, is a different story. I don’t know if it’s my lowered expectations or what, but nearly every song here has the textural weight, melodic heft, psychedelic tinges, melancholic beauty and sheer power that I was hoping to hear that night at the music festival. Mother Animal, Bounty of Age and The Trial balance fury and fragility, sighs and supernovas, with rare skill. I obviously caught the band on a bad night, because Of Sound Mind is stoner space doom done just right.

- Michael Toland


Justin said...

Hey, I play guitar in Ancestors.
I have trouble not commenting on these things!

When did you see us play at SXSW?

I'm glad you dig the record. Thanks for the comments.

Michael said...

Cool - I'm always happy to hear from the artist.

I can't remember the year - maybe 3 years ago? You were headlining a Tee Pee showcase and I arrived right before you went on. As I say, I think it was just a bad night - happens to every band once in a while. I usually know better than to judge a band from one gig, especially if they're playing a style I like.

Justin said...

Hahaha might that be the show where Bushwick Bill from the Geto Boys jumped on stage and tried play my guitar?! Our first SXSW experience...

Yeah, you definitely caught us on a bad night. We had just gotten to Austin about 20 minutes before the show started after having had to hitchhike from 200 miles away after we crashed our van into a deer and totaled it. $2000 dollars in tow truck fees, two bus tickets and a lot of hitchhiking later we arrived to play a show having not slept for over 35 hours! Hahaha

Come to another show.

Thanks again though for the comments about the album. We're really proud of it and it means a lot to hear that people like it.

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