No Wonderland (Prophase/MVD)
by Craig Regala
Drone stroke psych drawing heavily from the hidden, full-on “next” wave of psychedelia. The stuff that started with David Thomas’ statement that “Pere Ubu are the second wave of psychedelia,” which reached its bad-acid apex with the post no-wave fallout from the NY noise thing (i.e. Sonic Youth and The Swans), and fed heavily from nascent space rock. The mind warp of Pink Floyd in ’67, Hawkwind in ’70, and Chrome in ’77 are antecedents, as is the mind-melting Krautrock of Amon Duul, Guru Guru, and Can which flowed between then. Joy Division and Throbbing Gristle seem to be in the diet too – that’s good news – adding heavy doom and industrial whirl, much like their modern peers from the corroded waves-of-silt art-metal side, Minsk. I wouldn’t count out the ’90s alt-rock of Hovercraft and Sky Cries Mary, or the abstract side of The Orb, or those further-out bending and glitching synthesizers and all sortsa effects, or their veering into stabs of ug-drug-punk.
Thudding, shuddering slabs of menacing “tribal” drumming rooted in all-the-above, given flight by enough air and light to call in the next strafing lands No Wonderland as much in line with the subtle-as-a-bush-hog-hittin’-a-stump-rough-cut rock of the Stooges and Loop as the space-drone-duh-fug-weeee! stuff from paragraph one. We’re lucky for that. To keep the groove’n’attack rooted in the gritty, dirt-under-the-nails reality of rock-as-fucking-rock is a move yielding a shitload of riches. Christ, how much can it cost to book these guys? Apparently, this is a reish of a double rec, and there’s gotta be more out there, and now I haveta start looking for it. The power and punch comes so close to one of my three favorite rock moments ever – Mission of Burma covering Pere Ubu’s “Heart of Darkness” – that it makes me car-crashingly crazy.
Pack it with F/i, Farflung, The First Band from Outer Space, Earthless, Paul Chain, Helios Creed, early Can, Joy Division, early PiL, Savage Republic, Red Giant, Crawlspace, Minsk, Afflicted Man, Cul de Sac, and Acid Mothers Temple for the best bongload ever.