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Earthless 

Rhythms From a Cosmic Sky (Tee Pee)

Wednesday, May 23 2007
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San Diego's Earthless purvey majestic acid rock, a genre that bakes the neurons with industrious instrumentals. And this trio blisters more brain cells than most. On its sophomore release, Rhythms From a Cosmic Sky, Earthless opens with a molten salute. The five suites clustered into "Godspeed" offer dynamic shifts from hard Hendrix boogies to more contemplative treks. But that's only the first (20-minute) journey from the group into your ear canal, an intermission-free adventure in corkscrewing sound effects and bowel-rumbling rhythms.

Led by Hot Snakes/Rocket from the Crypt drummer Mario Rubalcaba, Earthless lives up to its name. Guitarist Isaiah Mitchell's nimble riffs crescendo skyward, sprawling feedback enters from the fourth dimension, and Rubalcaba strikes his kit with brute force. In Earthless' hands, metal is a wordless meditation on triumphantly rocking out — until the third and final track. Cosmic coda "Cherry Red" covers the bluesy sludge and galloping guitar licks of vintage Brit band, Groundhogs. But in keeping with the rest of the record, Earthless keeps even this interpretation ruggedly exploratory, moving with transcendent skill from classic rock badlands to heavy metal cosmos. — Jennifer Maerz

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Jennifer Maerz

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