Census Of Hallucinations - "The 3rd Eye"
(Stone Premonitions 2000, SPCD 025)
From Aural Innovations #15 (April 2001)
The first Census Of Hallucinations CD featured a great combination of memorable songs and trippy space excursions. Opus 2 was powerful as a complete work. And now The 3rd Eye, the band's third release in a year, combines the strengths of both those albums to create a set of tracks that are both memorable and flow seamlessly from one to the next while still providing loads of variety, freakiness, solid songwriting, and the good fun studio embellishments that the Stone Premonitions folks do so well.
The 3rd Eye is also the band's most tripped out work to date. The CD opens with "The Pied Piper Of Hell", a psychedelically ethereal intro piece with Terri~B's lovely angelic chants, devilish efx'd voicings, soaring flutes, acoustic guitar and freaky synth sounds. It then moves into "Lie Again", a Tim & Terri song that grabbed me on the first listen and stands tall with "Orion" and "The Moon" as some of the best songs I've heard from them. At it's core this is an acoustic pop tune. But then there's all the good fun Stone Studio efx and spaciness, and hysterical voicings from Tim. But this is all embellishment and the song is the principal focus. Their space suits are full of shit!!!!!!
"Big Brown Pyramid" and "Think" are two of my favorite tracks. "Big Brown Pyramid" is a funky, totally cosmic dance tune narrated by what I imagine are aliens. Its got a solid get-down beat and awesome space electronics. After a brief trippy sitar sounding intro, "Think" quickly launches into a killer jamming space funky tune. Barely over 2 minutes it's way too short. I really wanted it to jam on for a while. "The Sea Of Green" and "Buttercup Biscuits" both reminded me a lot of Ash Ra Tempel, the stronger track being "Buttercup Biscuits" with its rapid syncopated synth patterns and heavenly cosmic waves. But all the extra sounds, voices, and guitar make it indelibly Census' own work. If this is space... it feels like a great place to be.
Other highlights include "The Selfishness Of The Thatcher Years", a bouncy meditative new agey atmospheric track, but it has a rhythm that kept my head bopping along throughout. "Have Him Stripped And Washed And Sent To My Tent" is a bit of a freakout tune that mixes mindfuck synths, crazed grunting and laughing, and intermittent drum 'n bass beats. "Pillow Full Of Dreams" features a wild combination of symphonic keys and super wah'd guitar jamming. And "55,000 Airmen" is a 13-minute cosmic exploratory trip that alternates between chaotic psychedelic madness and controlled song. It's difficult to describe as the track is an evolving collage that gets quite manic at times. There are some great moments where the guitar jams along with freaked out voices and trippy synths. Revolution #9 for the space age.
In summary, if you liked either of the two previous Census Of Hallucinations CD's then this is a must-have. If you haven't heard any of them then this is the place to start. It's loaded with craziness, structure, freakiness, melody, and fun. Put on the headphones... and melt away.
For more information you can visit the Stone Premonitions web site.
Contact via snail mail at Stone Premonitions; 271 Park Road; South Moor; Stanley; Co Durham; DH9 7AP; UK.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz