Tumuli Shroomaroom

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After raising a few eyebrows via a competent debut album filled with budding promise, Acrimony proceeded to fashion one of the all-time classic stoner rock albums ever in 1996's mind-expanding and dimension-bending Tumuli Shroomaroom. Everything one could ask for from the genre's formative mid-'90s birth ritual -- sludgy classic rock grooves, corrosive acid/psych rock trips, epic space rock excursions, and pounding metallic aggression -- can be found here, allotted across nine songs of staggering creative breadth. So while lysergic yet relatively concise travelogues such as "Vy," "Find the Path," and "The Bud Song" bang out pointed, bruising riffs amid occasional bubbling sound effects, the sublimely stark "Turn the Page" stuns listeners with its delicate, interweaving acoustic guitars, and then Earth-targeting asteroids like "Hymns to the Stone," "Heavy Feather," and "Firedance" simply jam along for ten-plus minutes each, as they roar across the atmosphere. But wait, it gets better...the anthemic "Million Year Summer" provides an early album pinnacle by condensing all of Acrimony's (and, indeed, the entire genre's) soaring imagination and earth-shattering power into four minutes of pure stoner rock brilliance. And the "best song title" award (perhaps even the "best song" award, period) undoubtedly goes to the positively thunderous, hilariously emphatic "Motherslug (The Mother of All Slugs)" -- need more be said? If anything still does need saying, it is that, for all its broad musical strokes and longwinded compositions, Tumuli Shroomaroom makes for remarkably immediate listening, unveiling its otherworldly glories to all those who dare enter the mushroom.

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