Spacemen 3

spacemen-3-take-me-to-the-ot-284347 I have had but one drug experience. It was great while it lasted but the comedown was horrible. I remember swaying in the middle of a bus and holding on to the poles on either side of me. It felt like the entire upper part of me had gravitated to the bottom half and the world around me was a xerox copy of reality. In place of my head was a hole.

Since that youthful folly I have steered clear of any sort of out of head experience except for when I drink. The buzz is only a paltry 10th of what I felt back then but at least the landing was less traumatic. My world be perfect if only I could feel the high without the jarring after-effects. Thats where an English band from Rugby comes in.

Over a handful of albums, a smattering of singles and EPs Spacemen 3 managed to chronicle in monochrome, the peak and inevitable trough of psychotropics. Why? So you don’t have to.

With their backs against an impenetrable wall of scuzzed-up sound, the band plucks out single-mindedly minimalistic guitar chords channeled through smoky layers of warped effects. In the eye of the perfect storm, a skeletal tune hangs on for dear life. It was not all feedback and squall mind you. Interspersed among the psych-rock were delicate almost pastoral tracks with a lot of references to Jesus and drugs. Go figure.

Starting with “Sound of Confusion”, the band expanded their sound beyond what was cerebrally accepted and gave birth to what is largely thought to be their masterpiece in their 2nd album aptly titled “The Perfect Prescription”. “Playing with Fire” consolidated their oeuvre while ironically cracks began to appear between band members.  “Recurring” was to be their final release before members took off in various directions to pursue their individual muses.

At the end of the day they left behind a formidable legacy which inspired a lot of other musicians, the most famous example being the mighty My Bloody Valentine. In fact the whole shoegazing scene was founded on the ground that Spacemen 3 broke in the 80’s. Respect is called for.

UPDATE : After listening to nothing but Spacemen 3 for the past 48 hours I have come to the conclusion that they are the culmination of all the cool bands that ever came into being ie the Velvet Underground, Joy Division, Sex Pistol, The Doors and The Byrds.

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