They say that if a nuclear bomb dropped the only thing to survive would be cockroaches, well you can also add instrumental rock band Ozric Tentacles to the list. Over the past four decades countless fads and trends have come and gone, yet this band of brothers (and sisters) have remained steadfast, seemingly impervious to the sands of time. That timeless quality is evident in their latest album, Lotus Unfolding, a collection of six tracks that have scant regard for current fashion, but will undoubtedly still sound fresh many years hence.
Despite their low-key approach, an Ozric Tentacles album is not so much something that you listen to, rather it happens to you. Don’t consider putting Lotus Unfolding on as background music because it will soon take over your physiology; this is an album that alters your very DNA, and will transport your mind to previous unknown dimensions. The band’s shunning of lyricism makes the Ozric experience more of a collaborative affair, songs such as the title-track are very evocative and rich in suggestion, and should plant strong images in your mind’s eye, yet what you make of those implications will be very individualistic, it’s kind of hallucinogenic…only without the hallucinogens!
Lotus Unfolding is a pretty apt title for this album. Each of these cuts have a very organic feel, the basic framework is a planted seed and you get the impression that these songs could grow in any direction. Although they have a free form nature, the songs herein are deceptively simple and cloak complexity in lucidity, yet in terms of rhythms and song structure, there’s more going here than first meets the ear. This means that Lotus Unfolding is the kind of long player that will reward repeat plays, revealing hidden delights on each successive spin (hence the title).
Back in the 1980’s when I was a shameless metalhead, Ozric Tentacles was one of the few bands that flew under (or over?) my metal radar. In an age when genre divisions were rigidly enforced, they were one of a handful of groups who united stoners, ravers, punks, hippies and indie kids, and time has in no way diminished their crossover appeal. It’s an unquantifiable quality, yet their stubborn refusal to sit in one box means they appeal to a wide demographic that pretty much includes anyone who likes their music with the prefix ‘rock’ attached.
Such is the immersive nature of Lotus Unfolding that it seems to alter the very fabric of time. It’s all-encompassing listen that’ll have you wondering where the last 45-minutes went, but don’t worry; you’ll soon be pressing ‘play’ again!
- Lotus Unfolding is released via Kscope Records on 20th October 2023.
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- Storm In A Teacup
- Deep Blue Shade
- Lotus Unfolding
- Green Incantation
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