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SPIRITUALIZED IS BACK!

Listen to “Hey Jane,” a 9 minute rave-up from everyone’s favorite shoe-gospel (or jesus-gaze?) band. It’s really good.

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RATING: 8/10 TOP TRASH

I’d heard the 7” from these guys on Hozac, and it was pretty good – I remember liking it, but not really so much so that I could remember specific moments or anything. So, when I hear they had an LP out, I was interested, but not on the edge of my seat or anything. I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed. The band may call themselves the Ketamines, but they might be better named the “Shittonofacids” – this record is genuinely trippy in places – unlike certain bands content to place a bit of delay and reverb on the guitar and call it a day (I’m looking at you, Deerhunter). The Ketamines formula isn’t terribly complicated: Take 1 part BLACK LIPS and add some nasally indie rock vocals, then throw in a heavy dose of OH SEES weirdness and then make it poppy. Like, really poppy – “Teenage Rebellion Time” is bouncy and sunny and in a nice way. The next few tracks are all good, but don’t really jump out beyond a mental note of “Yup, good.” Once they get to “Ketamine Babies,” though, the Ketamines begin to show the interesting parts of their sound – surf guitar lines blend with the bubblegummy nerd-garage sensibility amazingly well. It’s really in the second half of the record that things get kicking; “Kill Me Now” worships at the altar of His Majesty John Dwyer, with an acid-soaked breakdown that’s one of the most compelling moments on the album. “Spaced Out” features a spooky verse, punctuated by some outer space keys; it’s fuckin cool. Then the last two tracks come out of nowhere. “No Grand Design” is a passable impersonation of the VENTURES or DICK DALE, with a seriously groovy guitar line. Then it closes out with “The Runaround,” which reminds me of Del Shannon for some reason.

The only disappointment here is that the album takes so long to really start up; although every song here is competent, the first half isn’t as interesting as what follows. It’s only in the second half that the Kets start to loosen up and let their freak flag fly – this could have been a fantastic EP, but it’s a good album. That being said, though, for their first LP, this is pretty fucking good: it’s ambitious, catchy, and creative – these guys are promising, and I think they’re only going up from here.

LISTEN: http://mammothcave.bandcamp.com/album/spaced-out-lp

BUY (Preorder): http://mammothcaverecording.com/releases/spaced-out-lp-preorder-blue-vinyl-100-copies

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