Various Artists

Acid Jam, Vol. 2

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In 1988, the Bevis Frond's Nick Saloman and a group of similarly inclined freaks spent two days in a converted pigsty on the outskirts of London recording the original Acid Jam. Twelve years on, Saloman and Frond collaborator Ade Shaw convened another gathering, this time at Bromley's Gold Dust Studios. The result, Acid Jam, Vol. 2, features a cast of old and slightly newer faces from the British psychedelic scene: alumni of Hawkwind, Camel, High Tide, and Magic Muscle, as well as members of the Alchemysts, the Lucky Bishops, and the Outskirts of Infinity. The old adage favors quality over quantity, but this album delivers both in equal measure -- nearly two-and-a-half hours of psychedelia and acid rock that hark back to a bygone era without sounding dated. With Nick Saloman involved, it's not surprising that Acid Jam, Vol. 2 is packed with epic guitar-fueled freakouts. Especially noteworthy are the pyrotechnic displays on "Funeral Ballet Music" and "Reformation Blues," a writhing monster of a track on which both Saloman and Bari Watts grind their axes. Elsewhere, things have a tendency to get rather far out. The 16-minute "Deep Space Divers" takes a Hawkwind-esque excursion to the outer limits with synths twittering. The monumental "Ice Plug" finds vocalist Rustic Rod Goodway leading a winding march into Eastern-sounding territories with former Bowie and Hawkwind cohort Simon House on violin. While Acid Jam, Vol. 2 proves that age doesn't impair the ability to rock hard, one of the highlights is delivered by some younger upstarts (Dorset's Lucky Bishops) with the quarter-hour-long, Hammond-throbbing instrumental "Negative Blooty." So, just how many heads does it take to make a behemoth of an acid rock album? Nineteen, to be precise. But this collective effort by members of the Woronzow Records family shows that many hands make seriously heavy work, man.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 16:20
5 4:06
7 2:52
blue highlight denotes track pick