Espers – Espers II

this is reflective music and meant to induce a state of near trance in the listener. 

this is reflective music and meant to induce a state of near trance in the listener. 


Espers – Espers II (


I’ll be brief. I love Espers, but they are an acquired taste. If you don’t like 70s pastoral folk, a la Pentangle or Fairport Convention, however textural, however layered by guitars, however faux-ironic, you are never going to like Espers. That said, the opening two tracks, Dead Queen and Widow’s Weed are often straying, ever so slightly into Ash Ra Tempel territory with the growling, slightly stoned feedback and stoner vibe. Dead Queen is a brilliant, never changing float downstream on a funeral boat, whilst Widow’s Weed is a much darker more visceral affair; despite the fact that the tempo never really rises above slothful.


Druggy song spirals are Esper’s main card; the brilliant, elegant Children of Stone ensnares you with eight minutes of virtually never changing repeat choruses and subtly weighted instrumentation. Cruel Storm has to be the Misnomer of the Year, unless, perchance they are morning the effects of the storm, in which sense it’s a perfect acoustic lament. As ever with Espers, chord changes are studiously presented and loaded with maximum meaning; this is reflective music and meant to induce a state of near trance in the listener. Any thing that could be said to shatter that sense of trance must be gently introduced… 


Mansfield and Cyclops begins like a Popol Vuh piece with its spindly guitar lead but soon settles down into the familiar web of deliberately aimless melodic spiralling and vocal harmonising. Dead King harks back to the opening track, but imbued with more light and dissonance, less tragic less fuggy and certainly harder edged. Instead of pushing him downstream, he’s going to get burned on a pyre. That’s my guess anyway, as the track descends into a relative amount of dissonance and discord near the end. Moon Occults the Sun starts slowly until a male voice sets out the rites that are to be observed. There is a grim purpose to this track seemingly suggested by the cello scraping menacingly underneath the main melody stream.


Well, I think you know what you should expect from Espers. I heartily recommend it, but yes, as I said earlier, if you don’t like 70s leaning folk, forget it as you’ll just get angry and pull your fringe out.


Words: Richard Foster.