Damin Eih, A.L.K. and Brother Clark "Never Mind"
The wonderfully punny title (note that it’s two words) is the first of many synapse-frying delights that this lysergic lunchbox holds in store for the adventurous listener. “Brother Clark” Dircz set up his own label to offer this meticulously remastered edition from two pristine copies (presumably his own) of the original 1973 album (the masters are long gone) that often tops many psych fanatics’ most-wanted lists. Like most psychedelic Holy Grails, the music that Dale Miller, Allen Katzner, and Dircz recorded nearly 40 years ago is a mixed bag. Some listeners immediately vault it to the top of their Desert Island Disk collections, while others scratch their heads and scurry away with a dazed and confused look on their faces. Most will fall in between, but there’s no denying the impact it will have on anyone hearing it for the first time, although most have been rewarded through repeated listens.
It starts heavy as Black Sabbath with throbbing basslines anchoring Chines chimes, tinkling piano, and screetching guitar lines on the mysterious “Tourniquet,” which quickly segues into the delicate strands of crashing cymbols, phased washes of guitar, and stoned vocal harmonies that suggest none of the participants knew what the lyrics were about (it’s called “Sing A Different Song” and that’s just what each of them seem to be doing!). There’s also a proggy feel to the early tracks, which segue into each other as if they were intended to be part of a suite. Tracks like the dreamy “Take Off Your Eyes” are pretty self-explanatory – just nod off in a dark room and let your “third eye” direct your astral projections. Sample lyric: “Take off your eyes/Lie down in your head.” Uh, OK.
“Soft Margins” tells us we’re “just in time to cut the weed” and welcomes the listener into your inner mind to “hear the yogi krishna cry.” Again, excelent musicianship is the order of the day (it’s a very well made record with extremely high production values for a private pressing) with the members even trading instruments on “Thundermice.” Fans of Mooseheart Faith Stellar Groove Band’s basement psych recordings (particularly Magic Square of The Sun) will find like-minded friends in this spaced-out trio. That sound you hear as the record fades is your mind blasting off into outer space! 8/10 -- Jeff Penczak (3 March, 2010)