The Linus Pauling Quartet - "All Things Are Light"
(Camera Obscura 2007, LP)
From Aural Innovations #38 (January 2008)
The Houston, Texas based Linus Pauling Quartet (typically between 5-7 members) have been around since the mid-90s. Their latest album, All Things Are Light, is an LP only release (which includes a CDR of the album) in a limited edition of 500 copies on purple vinyl. There's some things that show up in my box that must go immediately from mailing packet to stereo, and a new Linus Pauling Quartet album is one of those indeed. I'm a space-psych nut that likes to be brutalized, and being in a particularly masochistic mood when I discovered All Things Are Light had arrived, I wasted no time.
As expected, the LP4 come out six guns blazin'. "Alien Abduction" opens the set and is a monstrous example of stoned, metallic, psychedelic ROCK. The multi-guitar assault is a tactic the band have perfected and put to precision use here. Power chords form coordinated blasts, but also take off into cool grooving jam segments. Nine minutes of brain frying sonic bliss on this sucker. "Southern Pine" is next and starts off as a mellow drifty 60s styled psych song. But the LP4 don't let you get too relaxed because they keep shifting between the mellow verses and stoner-metal jam choruses. Very cool. The stoner power chords on "Old Crow" are like something straight off a Black Sabbath album. "Waiting For The Axe To Fall" sounds very familiarů was it on a previous album? Anyway, it's a damn fine song given acid space metal intensity, with anguished psych guitar solos and UFO electronics thrown in for good space rocking measure.
Rounding out the set are a few shorter tunes that go in some different directions. "She Bad She Thowed" is a down 'n dirty thrashy garage blues number that's tailor made for a drunken bar crowd. Keeping the drunken motif going, "40 Oz." is a fun little tune about being flat on your back holding a 40oz beer in a brown bag (you've been there, haven't you?). And "Encherito" is a whimsical garage punk song. The album is just 35 minutes long, but it's such a weighty 35 minutes that you'll feel more than satisfied. It only arrived a few days ago and I've been blaring it in the car ever since.
For more information you can visit the Linus Pauling Quartet web site at: http://www.worshipguitars.org/LP4.
Visit the Camera Obscura web site at: http://www.cameraobscura.com.au.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz