Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Darkside - Lunar Surf

(Bomp!, 1993)

The final Darkside record, and not a very interesting one, I’m afraid… if these are the recordings that the British label refused to release, I can dig their call. Quality control’s a seeming nonissue with these chunky rhythms and big-blah P. Bassman moaning, especially on “Retroglide,” where the band members are either disinterested (drums) or noodling without regard for what anyone else is doing (guitars). “Spacewalk” ain’t bad, a throbbing, bass-heavy instro with radio-tower transmission samples overlayed, but its stoned formlessness is ultimately just another sign that the Darkside was drifting along minus direction and probably doping it up far too much. A dispiriting curtain-closer of a 7”; go back a few years and find the “Waiting For the Angels” EP or the first LP to get a better idea of what they were all about.

After this, Bassman put the group out of its misery and took off to fiddle with electronics in Alphastone, while Sterling Roswell eventually whipped up a shockingly great single called “Girl From Orbit” and a less-great album called The Psychedelic Ubik. Last I heard, a Darkside rarities box was being assembled, though label indifference and beaurocratic wranglings mighta killed that project by now. As is fitting with most Spacemen 3-related matters, said box lets us conclude with some bitchy gossip: In a bit of too-harsh but amusing message board sniping a few years ago, Sonic Boom sneered that such a compilation would be – and I’m cleaning up the grammar here – “an exercise in the meaningless…can’t wait.” Cold.


Donald Brown said...

that last quoted comment reminds me of an old Woody Allen exchange: "you know sex without love is a meaningless experience." "Yes, but as meaningless experiences go, it's one of the best."

sarah said...

i like it.