What a great album this is! The UK-based quartet of Shroomer, The Angel, Sarah-Pat Rickmore and Professor Stephen 'Whore' King (not their real names, I'll wager!!) have succesfully combined the melodic complexity of traditional instrumental electronic music with the dynamic power of modern electronica to create an exciting musical fusion. I do know that UK synth veteran Paul Nagle, the name behind 30-odd albums since the early 80s is one of those involved and his melodic experience is put to good use throughout this album which is, in fact, inspired by the Cannabis Sativa plant (look at the pun of the band name, too!) although I find it hard to believe that it was recorded while under the influence of said plant as the music is so tight and razor sharp. True, there is a slightly trippy feel to the opening drum and bass-flavoured "Tribal High" but this is as far as it goes and while there is a sense of humour at work here the quartet don't over-indulge in daft in-jokes that probably seemed funny at the time but quickly become tiresome to the listener or put masses of far-out effects in the music, only the speeded-up telephone answering machine voice at the end indulging in such goings-on. Rather there is a lot of excellent melodics which makes for a fine listening and set potent atmospheres, such as the utterly superb "(The Look) In Your Eyes" which evokes a definate early 80s Tangerine Dream feel, the excellent piano work that sets the scene for "Dimensional Distortion" and the almost touching "Ed Wood", inspired, of course, by the famous cult film maker. Just as importantly, the tracks are always evolving, meaning that, while they're generally on the long side (at over 8 minutes on average) they never become over-repetitious or self-indulgent which makes this is an album you'll want to absorb in one go and then keep coming back for more. The sound and voice effects that are used are applied logically and well, adding to the music and not sounding silly, the voice effects on the busy and varied "Best Before End" which allegedly belong to ex-Spice Girl Mel. B (making this the best thing she's ever been involved with by a long way!) being a good case in point.
Space-rockers should enjoy the closing title track where a static ambient soundscape plays host to gliding guitar chords but, very much defining the meaning of the word 'ambient' although the excellent high powered techno stomps of "Totally Fine and the intriguingly-titled "Angels Pins and Nippleclamps" provide a breathtakingly exciting contrast.
Really, the only complaint I've got here is that this quartet aren't signed to the FAX label, getting rave reviews all over the place and becoming mightily rich in the process, it would be no less than they deserve on all counts.
Artist Link: http://www.JointIntelligenceCommittee.com