Earthling Society - Beauty and the Beast

Year of Release: 2008
Label: Four Zero Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 66:52:00

Revelations are important. Not necessarily the kind that make you decide that your career as an engineer was a major mistake and that you should be raising llamas in Peru instead (although that one might be important too), mind you, but rather the smaller ones that still hit you smack in the face when you least expect it. It's not that I thought that Earthling Society's Beauty And The Beast would be horrible from the get-go. It's not that I don't expect anything good to come out from the world of space rock, because I don't get paid for writing for some overhyped magazine and pretending that I actually like music. It's that when I first listened to the album, nothing would have made me happier than to sacrifice it to a really really cruel pagan god: I hated the damn thing. Yet a few days later, I realized that my first impressions sucked, because I'd had my epiphany: Beauty And The Beast was not just a good album - it was, well, how should I put it? Mind-blowing.

Now, my one loyal reader (hello? I hope he or she is still out there...) is already aware of the fact that yours truly's first impressions are not always very reliable, but one thing is to be off the mark and another to shoot the guy behind you when you're pointing straight ahead. Fred Laird and company's fourth effort is not just an incredible space rock album - it's a ravishing trip through the hippie sentiments of "Candlemass" and "Tenement Song," the grand psychedelic acid-laced chorus of "A Modest Flower," the smothering smoke-coated, drugged-out atmosphere of "Drowned World," and the laid-back reflection of "A Playground Mystery." Not only is each song a microcosm onto itself, but the whole thing is a masterpiece of equilibrium ? well, ok, "Untitled" isn't actually very good, but it's only three minutes, and believe me when I tell you that you'll forget those three minutes the moment they're over.

So what brought about such an otherworldly (no pun intended) change of heart, you ask? Well, I could explain that the band's penchant for sprinkling its songs with quirky space rock noises and psychedelic flushes somehow works wonders, that keyboardist Kevy Canavan puts in some of the album's best details when you least expect it, or that these guys simply know what they're doing, but I'll spare you my blathering and make a long story short: just when it seemed that this foursome was going through every Krautrock and space rock clich? known to man, it dawned on me: They weren't actually going through every clich?; they were twisting and turning the stuff, molding it into a malleable mass of aural acid meant for recurring consumption. Yeah, sure, acid's not addictive - go tell that to someone who hasn't heard this album.

Drowned World (8:52) / Candlemass (4:35) / Tenement Song (4:59) / Sundropped (5:37) / Untitled (3:28) / A Modest Flower (5:21) / The Boy With The X-Ray Eyes (5:32) / The Moonlit Road (6:28) / Valerie A Tyden Divu (12:14) / A Playground Mystery (9:46)

Fred Laird - guitars, bass, keyboards, bazouki, mandolin, kazoo, samples, theremin, vocals
Jon Blacow - drums, percussion
David Fyall - bass
Kevy Canavan - piano, Hammond, mellotron, keyboards

Tears Of Andromeda - Black Sails Against The Sky
Plastic Jesus And The Third Eye Blind
Albion (2004)
Beauty And The Beast (2007)

Genre: Psychedelic/Space Rock

Origin UK

Added: June 25th 2008
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website: /
Hits: 4295
Language: english


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