Thin Shells of Revolution
EJ 58 CD
released Oct 2003
Primordial Undermind is led by ex-Crystalized Movements guitarist Eric Arn. Active for more than a decade in different forms and in different cities, their fifth album (and second since making Austin their home) is a dense smattering of heat-influenced psychedelia -- a sampler platter of oscillating whirly sounds, woven guitars and twin drumming.
As anchored in song craft yet gloriously freaked out as the first 45 minutes of the album is, their 8-minute version of the Dead Kennedys Kinky Sex (Makes the World Go Round) plays like a cacophonous Ornette Coleman/Napalm Death hybrid, echoing for a quite spell after the disc stops. An unexpected and perplexing end to an album, but its one part of the ever-evolving PU universe.
PU just completed a eastern US summer outing with ST 37, and have toured and played shows with Kinski, Major Stars, Bardo Pond and Acid Mothers Temple. Leader E Arn also created last years Texas Psych Fest, a sort of miniaturized version of the sporadic Terrastock festivals, of which they are two-time veterans.
Primorial Undermind bio on Camera Obscura
"For anyone who's heard Austin psyche-jam scions Primordial Undermind at the height of their free-noise lunacy, as on last year's abstract Beings of Game P-U, this album is going to be a surprise. PU mastermind shredder Eric Arn, who abstained from the mic on the last disc, returns with a tuneful, incense-and-paisley cover of the Dillards' 1964 insurgent bluegrass chestnut "There Is a Time," which is indicative of a more controlled, tuneful direction. Not one to tip his hand, Arn then follows with "Theme From Serpent," a reinterpretation of the silent-film score to the 1971 avant-garde classic. Beginning with four minutes of droney wash, the newfound double-barreled percussion attack of Matt Martinez and Jared Barron lead a detour through a mystical drum circle somewhere deep in the heart of darkness. "WWod?" is more representative of the Undermind's 15-year career arc, the clairvoyant woodwinds of Otis Cleveland peppering Arn's wobbly march into dementia. "Akaknow" offers an accessible, rock-steady Neu! tempo before lifting off into hyperspace powered by Vanessa Arn's triwave picogenerator, and the patchouli-scented "Stagger the Heart," like the Dillards cover, is cut with some wicked Electric Prunes juice. "Ten Toes, One Soul" even has a patient, school-dance melody to it, though don't expect the Westlake prom to be the launching point for a new generation of triwave picogenerator players. Eric Arn and the Undermind have put together another quality mindbender, a concisely trippy work recommended for anyone interested in pursuing new and more colorful methods of rock." - Michael Chamy, Austin Chronicle
A searing, modern day garage-psych combo drifting deeply in a sea of blissful drone. - Alternative Press
Guitars flick and spin through a distinctly 1968 West Coast ballroom fug. - The Wire
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