The Lucid Dream
★★★ Actualisation HOLY ARE YOU. CD/DL/LP
Carlisle’s astral travellers’ determinedly groovefocused fourth album.
To dial down the darkness from 2016’s Compulsion Songs, songwriter Mark Emmerson went back to basics, writing on a Roland 303 bass synth and 808 drum machine. It proves revelatory, filtering his band’s psychspooked garage rock through a UK acid house filter. It hits maximum impact on Alone In Fear, whose monolithic beats and pulsing three-note synth squiggle make way for an enraged Brexit polemic redolent of XTRMNTR-era Primal Scream. The flickering high-end riff of old school party starter SX1000 (parthymn to an early entry-point mono synth) is equally infectious, while the two-part Zenith witnesses them trying a loose-fitting Madchester groove for size. Mixed with slabs of mournful dubby melancholia, plentiful melodica and heavier guitarthrash, it finds them sculpting fresh forms from their influences rather than merely painting by numbers.