King Black Acid, Super Beautiful Magic (Mazinga)
[FILM ROCK] The term "cinematic" gets bandied about in promotional literature for any piece of music that relies on copious amounts of reverb and wandering arrangements. But big-screen ambition is too deeply ingrained in the DNA of Daniel Riddle's King Black Acid project for the term to be applied to as any sort of pejorative. On Super Beautiful Magic, Riddle creates a lush fantasia of slow-burning psychedelia that makes good use of the studio wizardry he developed while providing music for films and television shows like The Mothman Prophecies and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Though heavy-handed at times, Magic is a strong case for the Big Rock Album surviving as a vital piece of longform art. The album's most serious tracks, like opener "Welcome Down the Rabbit Hole," have a brooding, bombastic air that will immediately feel inviting to fans of Gentlemen-era Afghan Whigs, while the airy psych-pop of the album's most obvious single, "Ain't Nobody Gonna Drink My Blood," is a successful example of Flaming Lips-lite. Riddle employs spacey touchstones of psych rock to paint in broad, dark strokes of curiosity and heartbreak. It's the sound of a brilliant mind being completely unloaded onto the proverbial tape, yielding a gorgeous record that's crammed with ideas without being suffocating.
SEE IT: King Black Acid play Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., with Cedar Teeth and Daydream Machine, on Friday, June 9. 9 pm. $12. 21+.