Sky Cries Mary

A Return to the Inner Experience

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Neo-space rock with a deeply dubbed rave twist, A Return to the Inner Experience was Sky Cries Mary's first full-length release following the reinvention of the band, and it steps out effortlessly from the frontiers established by the earlier EP. The twin vocals swoop and intertwine with ethereal intent, the band ebbs and flows, and two unstoppable forces meet near the center with heart-stopping power. Two covers indicate the sheer breadth of the band's vision: first, the Rolling Stones' "2000 Light Years from Home" is restated with such psychedelic intent that Roderick Wolgamott could laughingly complain that "Brian Jones got into a time machine, saw us playing it, and took it back to the Stones"; later, their vivid amplification of the Stooges' "We Will Fall" not only returns what was already the most atypical song in Iggy Pop's entire repertoire to its original source -- the "My Wild Love" chant that he borrowed from the Doors (but which they in turn lifted from Sufi qawwali) -- it also connects wholly with the very spirituality that Wolgamott believes lies at the heart of the band. As a teen, Anisa Romero was stricken with a cancer that came close to ending her life. Among the weapons she deployed against it was "We Will Fall." Elsewhere, "Moving Like Water" eddies with aptly titled atmosphere, while a reprise of the EP's "When the Fear Stops" has a minimalistic sparseness that is all the more effective for the power that is exhibited elsewhere. Move on to the mystical trance of "Rain," a distinctly Floydian showcase for Romero and Wolgamott's unearthly harmonies, and A Return to the Inner Experience emerges as one of the most startling albums of its era.

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