It’s a safe bet that a group led by its drummer, as Guardian Alien are, won’t be given to commonly understood notions of top-down meat’n’spuds rock. Greg Fox, a New York-based titan of big-brained avant-garde percussion, ensures this as he leads the multi-directional dazzle of ‘Spiritual Emergency’, their third album. Shamelessly self-indulgent, you imagine their aim is to jam themselves into a sonic trance as much as the listener: Fox, presumably cross-legged, opens the album on tablas (‘Tranquilizer’) before his equal-parts-gonzo-and-disciplined style takes hold as GA lock into freak mode. Of special note among the jarring vocal splices and monolithic psych guitar is the 22-minute title track, which starts off talking about yoga and subsequently grooves like Can at their wiggiest.
- Record label: Thrill Jockey