I saw The Lucid Dream at 2016,s Liverpool Pzyk Festival where they drew a large and passionate crowd. They were on before Liverpool legends, The Stairs, but such was the response to both bands I thought both were from Liverpool.
So, how did a band so loved by psych-heads end up producing badges to sell at gigs that proclaim them to be psych traitors? We have some French criminals who stole all the bands equipment in Paris and the history of acid house thank for that.
And YES they should be thanked.
This album is one that should grace any record collection no matter if you think they are psych traitors and sold their soul to the god of hedonism. But then if you think that way you are probably not a psych head as neo-psychedelia isn’t just formed by a genre of music, it’s formed by an independent state of mind that is willing to expand, experiment and bend rules. Actualisation ticks all those boxes with a big massive Sharpie.
The album was written last summer when front man Mark Emmerson wrote using only classic Roland synths, bass, vocals and palatable anger with the aim of grabbing the groove he was hearing from acid house. Throw in some XTRMNTR Primal Scream and love of a dub bass rumble then you have an album that Kasabian believe they have made.
The album opens with a frantic clicking, amphetamine percussion and bass drum. Alone In Fear is techno-punk and the bastard cousin of Swastika Eyes with added Gazelle Twin observation when midway through Emmerson lets his inner howl rage. It’s a nine minute political statement delivered with a cricket bat.
Zenith Part one and two then follow where the band start like a renegade Jamaican sound system before heading to Ibiza with their top off riding a unicorn waving light sticks as ZX1000 harnesses the euphoric feeling of not giving a fuckness while causing a million Ford Fiesta’s to try and drive to a field off the M25.
Breakdown shows that the band can still turn their hands to their more traditional sound before another bass pile driver in Ardency summons the spirit of Flowered Up and invents psychedelic baggy, which is bloody great thing!
The album rumbles to a close with the speaker troubling No Sunlight Dub where were are asked “where did the love go?” before fired into jungle by a cannon snare and we then clear trees back into space and bliss.
This album is a triumph to the freedom of independence. A record company would have never allowed a band to make such a bold left turn, stare down the past and make it their own. For all the reference points it feels current and timeless.
The band are on tour early next year. I will be down the front on a unicorn with my top off.*
*Only one of these things will happen. I won’t be taking my top off.