Comets on Fire

Blue Cathedral

Labeling Bay Area band Comets on Fire psychedelic is a facile understatement. There is something extra-psychedelic about this group, to the second degree. Blue Cathedral's 7-1/2-minute opener, "The Bee and the Cracking Egg" -- with its swirling guitar, bluesy bass, un-begrudging drums, far-off vocals, sputtering feedback, and, lo!, faux-Arabian interlude -- is warped and washed out and mad the way, in a movie, the already psychedelic soundtrack melts and buckles when the concertgoer's acid kicks in. What happens next ... is that a saxophone? A parlor piano? Are the Comets jamming? I guess so. Are Tracks 5 through 7 ("The Antlers of the Midnight Sun," "Brotherhood of the Harvest," and "Wild Whiskey") some kind of high-concept song cycle? Perhaps. If I caught the screeching, howling onslaught of these guys for a few minutes every 40 years, I'd be exhilarated. But the flagrant joy-ride of Blue Cathedral just goes on too long and too uniformly, with little to offer in the way of structure or logic.

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