Lunar Dunes - From Above

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Even when they introduce bongos and the sound of some wolves howling it always feels appropriate and never, ever, sounds too pretentious or self indulgent. Honestly, I have no idea how they’ve done it.

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There’s three guys in a room. One wants to listen to George Clinton and Parliament. One wants to listen to Black Sabbath and there’s one in the corner called Richard that wants to make everybody listen to Amon Duul II. Again! Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, we welcome you into the Incendiary shed once more. As per usual, we’re sitting around arguing about what we want to listen to. It’s the New Year, it’s so cold outside we’ve had to turn the electric heater on and we’re all just huddled round waiting for the kettle to boil. To say that we argue about what music is played in the shed would be an understatement. Personally, I’m pretty much in favour of most of what’s played, but then again, my chair is nearest to the stereo so I suppose you can figure out why. Every now and then though, something arrives in the post that just knocks us all sideways. Or, more importantly, makes us all just shut the fuck up and listen. From Above has just done that.


 


To be honest, I’m almost speechless, but thankfully I’m typing this so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Lunar Dunes have just knocked me for six. I tell you, this is an almighty album. There’s nothing not to like. Look at the cover! It’s beautiful, very Aubrey Beardsley, only without the giant penises everywhere (Check the website out too, that’s just as pretty). Look at the song titles. Absolute nonsense! Any album that contains a track entitled When I Was On Horseback deserves your attention and if the same album also plays host to a track title as pretentious as Herzegovina (interpolating Le Petit Chevalier),then you’re sure to want to know more, right?


 


When you actually press play, something wonderful happens. You just get lost in it immediately. That’s partly because, for the first 30 seconds or so of the opening track, you feel like you’re playing catch up as the song opens with the kind of drum swirls and guitar noise that bands normally choose for the tricky “middle section” of a song, but here Lunar Dunes just knock you off balance a bit. After that, they just head off in whatever direction they feel like and you have absolutely no choice but to follow them. There are twelve tracks here, but it feels like one continuous piece of music. These three guys (that’s right, there’s only three of them) have managed to create over an hour of instrumental, psychedelic rock that somehow, incredibly, manages to stay completely interesting and entirely thrilling from start to finish. Even when they introduce bongos and the sound of some wolves howling it always feels appropriate and never, ever, sounds too pretentious or self indulgent. Honestly, I have no idea how they’ve done it.


 


We get a lot of extended jam rock sent to us here at the shed and, if I’m frank, most of it is admirably played but about as entertaining as the tenth cheese sandwich in a row. After a while, they all seem to go stale or seem a bit bland, but not these guys. Lunar Dunes are, as Incendiary’s own Richard would put it, “Bloody Ace!” They’ve obviously digested everything from Parliament & Funkadelic to Black Sabbath and the entire output of Can and Neu!, but what they’ve managed to do is take all of that, mix it together and cook up the best testing jam sandwich you’ve had in years. Guys, this is one hell of a trip. I suggest you get in your rowing boat and follow.


 


Words: Damian Leslie