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August 10th, 2011 CASEY JARMAN | Album Reviews
 

Album Review: Adderall Canyonly

The Ascension of St. Diamond and the Battles of Oxtest (Field Hymns)

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[ABSTRACT ELECTRONIC] The term “mind-blowing” has lost a little of its potency. It always seemed like an incomplete thought to begin with (blowing up? blowing out? blowing smoke?), but at the height of the phrase’s powers, getting one’s mind blown meant to expand or rearrange one’s thinking entirely: LSD could do the trick, or going to India...then dropping acid.

I have friends who now regularly ascribe the same terminology to ice cream flavors, though it’s in the music world where the term is thrown around without reservation: A quick survey of my email inbox finds that publicists have used “mind-blowing” to describe music by Sleepy Sun, Gossip, the Allman Brothers, George Michael, the U.S. Air Guitar Championships (that last one got both “mind-blowing” and “facemelting”) and many more. 

My point here is that I won’t describe Adderall Canyonly’s The Ascension of St. Diamond and the Battles of Oxtest as mind-blowing, but in the dark with the lights out, this latest stoney collection from the skilled and prolific Portland mystery producer might nudge the listener toward an out-of-body experience. Described as a “concept album about Neil Diamond entering a black hole and the inevitable fate that befalls him,” these uncharacteristically subdued cuts trade in retro-futurism and ’70s sci-fi soundtrack ambience. While that conceit occasionally feels restrictive—see the semi-annoying animalistic squeals of “Over Infinite Dark and Pricks of Light”—it is more often spacious and wondrous (the pulsing “Eclipses a Horizon” and the gorgeous closer, “Alone at Last, Forever,” which I wish was 20 or 30 minutes long).

Of course, if bacon on a doughnut blows your mind, I’ve got the cassette for you.


SEE IT: A listening party for Adderall Canyonly’s The Ascension of St. Diamond (out now on cassette from fieldhymns.com) is Thursday, Aug. 11, at Tiga. 9 pm. Free. 21+.

 
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