More Weather

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Magnog's second album was also its last, and was less an album than a career retrospective; a full two CDs worth of home recordings over three years time, as opposed to the more formal studio work from the debut record. More Weather is very much a treat, to be sure, and anyone taken with the trio's spin on Ash Ra Tempel/Flying Saucer Attack-inspired evocative space rock jams will find much to love throughout its two and a half hours. It's perfectly easy -- even suggested -- to just put the discs on and completely lose oneself in the sound; if the songs hadn't immediately been intended for the light of day, they hang together, tape hiss and all, as the product of a fine band that knew what it wanted to do and did it well. A fair amount of the compositions are fragments barely a minute long or hesitant, brief jams -- it's clear enough the group enjoyed improvisation in general, but also knew when to stop if nothing more would come of it or needed to be said. On the flip side, there are some truly monstrous performances here -- "Signatures," which closes the set, clocks in at 22 minutes, while "Mystery Goodness," arguably the band's best song ever, with some amazing work from Paul Drake's guitar in particular, breaks the half-hour mark. The rougher recording quality actually makes for fiercer performances in some cases -- Drake sounds all the more tremendous and smashing on songs like the title track, a heavy neo-psych monster and then some, and "Ghost Squid." Soft can contrast with loud at many points, even if it's a softness of restraint, and the descending psych vibes of "Tear Catching Current" and the extended drones and shuffle of "Ocean Floor Sleep" make the band's case quite well.

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