Friends Of Mescalito - "Nagual Music For Tonal People"
(Stainedglass Tunafish Music 2001, CD)

From Aural Innovations #18 (January 2002)

Friends Of Mescalito is a project led by Scott Prato (JFK Jr Royal Airforce, World Of Tomorrow) aided by a rotating cast of guest musicians, including Bonnie Kane (W.O.O. Revelator, World Of Tomorrow), Cliff Ferdon (JFK Jr Royal Airforce, World Of Tomorrow), Louis Boone (Born to Go), Blaise Siwula, and several others. Instrumentation includes loads of guitars, sitar, bass, drums, flute, and sax.

I have to say this disc really took me by surprise. I liked the first two Friends Of Mescalito CD's well enough (reviewed in AI #11) but I don't exactly dust them off to listen very often. But this new release has some absolutely killer raw garagey yet totally trippy psychedelia. Kind of like a more purely psychedelic version of JFK Jr Royal Airforce, which both Prato and Ferdon are members of. "Deviations From The Master Plan" is the opening track and sets the tone for the disc with its psychedelic grungy guitars. "Dream From Poon Hill" is a tripped out highlight track. If you've ever heard any of Dave Tor's project like Mynd Muzic or Earcandy then this is what that's like. The music trips along at a drugged pace with grinding psych guitars, a stoner bass, and drugged efx'd vocals. "Float If You Can't Walk" is like a lysergic Amon Düül jam, being a rockin glom of slide guitar, garage guitars, meandering trip guitar, a bit of sax, and thudding bass and drums. "Nagual Music" consists of total psychedelia in space with its bashing garage guitars and swirling space synths. "Monkey Temple" takes a peaceful scenic route being an Indian raga voyage with layers of sitars, horns, and tablas. "Raised For The Slaughter" is a raw rocker with serious space guitar action that reminds me a lot of JFK Jr's "Butterfly". "They Plan To Leave", a Sun Ra cover, is a particularly trippy song with playful psychedelic flutes and fun out-there lyrics about leaving this kingdom to join the land of never-never. And my hands down favorite track is "Call Of The Other Ones", a Sun Ra cover that has kind of an Alien Planetscapes sound. Love those swirling guitars and organ, clanging bells, sax, and pounding drums to keep the pace intense.

In summary, fans of really trippy psychedelia that appreciate a raw garage rocking edge will absolutely love this disc. I'd say it's headed to make my 'best of' list for 2001.

For more information you can visit Friends Of Mescalito at the W.O.O. web site at: At that site you'll also find info on other cool bands like W.O.O. Revelator and World Of Tomorrow.
Contact via snail mail c/o Friends Of Mescalito; 45 First Avenue #5-0; NYC, NY 10003.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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