|STONER ROCK Review of Brave New World
intodown – Brave New World
Reviewed by Thunder Horse (RiffRock.com)
Release date: 2007
intodown hails from Texas and features guitarist Michael Clark. Clark and his rotating rhythm section have put together an album of trippy, classically inspired jams.
The album starts off meandering in jangly, psychedelic surf rock territory, reminiscent of bay area surfsters the Mermen. The Mermen employ more of a Sonic Youth type of instrumental abandon, whereas Intodown has more of a classic rock feel. A few songs feature what they call a “flurbatron,” which I am guessing is a mellotron organ patched through an Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail reverb pedal set to the “flurb” setting.
The first song, “Elevator,” is a nod to the 13th Floor Elevators. Aside from a few narrative passages, this is one of the few spots on the album that features any vocals. We also get a taste of the guitar histrionics that permeate throughout the album. The song climaxes with an acid tinged trumpet solo.
“Elevator” and the second tune, “intodown,” are both clever compositions, worthy of being used for a movie soundtrack, ala Neil Young’s soundtrack for the movie Dead Man. The third song, “Fire,” kicks off a visceral trip, which spans three tracks and lasts for about twenty minutes or so. I did some heady contemplating, lost track of time, and the next thing I knew I was already at track six.
“Message Understood” starts off as serious space rock. The flurbatron sounds like it is blindly following a distant echo inside an underground cavern. The guitar is twisting over and under, inside and out, wayside to the stringy barbs of the serpentine hydra.
On “Revolution 2” the musicians revisit the familiar raga of the “Fire” theme, but this time it’s a bit more feverish. “Voice of the Beast” and “Nostradamus” are both calm introspective pieces, conjuring a mood that could be described as a rising shimmering effect.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album. The guitar playing on this disc is quite ingenious. I wonder how Clark stays in tune considering his masterful and liberal use of the twang bar. Also, he’s not very flashy - very minimalist and tasteful, except for when he really lets it rip!