The Higher Craft - "Magic Box"
(Big Yellow Taxi 2008, BYTCD1)
From Aural Innovations #40 (September 2008)
The Higher Craft are a quintet from England that includes Christina, formerly of Peyote Mothership, Craig on guitar, plus other members I'm unclear on, though some are former members of Magic Mushroom Band.
The album opens with "Time Has Come", which has a gorgeous grooving psychedelic vibe that reminds me of the 80s UK festie psych bands. But hey, they've got former members of Magic Mushroom Band so what do you expect?! "Lazy Daisy" and "Senorita" are both heavy duty rockers with awesome vocals from Christina, which strike me as a cross between Grace Slick and Damo Suzuki. Seriously… it's her vocal style, her delivery, that reminds me of Damo. Like a form of jamming itself. Very cool. Ditto for the nearly 11 minute "I Do The Visions", with its killer rhythm section and mind-bending Hillage styled guitar. An excellent psychedelic jamming groove and you can DANCE to it! "Poetic Justice" has a west coast psychedelic feel, with the band jamming along like the Grateful Dead, but Christine's vocals make the music oh so much trippier. Nearly 10 minutes of cool groovin' jamming. "Planet Clairvoyant" features a freaked out trio of bass doing the Peter Gunn theme, wailing sonic mayhem guitars, and Christina's vocals. "Infinite Blue" is a short Bluesy boogie woogie rocker. And "New Moon" is another lengthy 10 minute stretch out tune. This is slow paced mind massage music with a jazzy but ultra trippy psychedelic vibe. A thoroughly relaxing grooving magic carpet ride. Round it all out with a cool cover of "White Rabbit" and you've got one of 2008's standout psychedelic albums. Highly recommended.
For more information you can visit The Higher Craft web site at: http://www.thehighercraft.com
Visit their Myspace site at: http://www.myspace.com/steppingstoneage
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org or T3kn0h1py@hotmail.com
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz
Reviewed by Scott Heller