On Mosaic, Ancient Sky's founding guitarist Brian Markham and drummer Pat Broderick have expanded their ever-evolving lineup into a quintet. Keyboardist Brandon Evans returns from 2013's All Get Out as a full-time member, joined by bassist Kevin Lamiell and second drummer Adam Bulgasem (who also plays with Markham in Dommengang). Where earlier records by these neo-psych navigators relied heavily on dark-edged stoner rock as a cornerstone, this is the most varied offering by Ancient Sky to date. It was written and rehearsed for an entire summer prior to recording with producer Ben Greenberg in upstate New York. In the process, the band wove a slew of different influences into their sound, from the astral exclamations of Brainticket to the minimal Krautrock of Cluster; from the proto-metal space rock of Hawkwind to the sprawling debut by Black Sabbath; from early electric Delta Blues to the two-chord feedback splatter of Loop. "Two Lights" contains a hypnotic, minimal blues vamp with moaning vocals, dueling tom-toms, hand drums, and cymbals. Pasted on to the power guitar riff and bass throb are sitar-esque fills while doomy keyboards spike the margins. In the second half, the tune gathers force, crunching, cracking, and splitting with blown-out distortion as vocals struggle to climb above the squall. "Induction" offers a minimal, spidery guitar riff balanced by spiraling synth and a haunted tom-tom chant. The vocals are a narcotic prayer groaning away in darkness. But it too changes shape, transforming into a biker rock jam in the final minutes, perversely adorned by a rave-up, hard-grooving organ to become a nightmarish elastic wall of sound that never loses its center. The single "Garbage Brain" actually contains a bona fide hook. Markham lays out a melodic riff, appended by a propulsive bass vamp that repeats endlessly through the changes. The swirling organ (reminiscent of Jon Lord) soars in the backdrop above ragged, multi-tracked vocals. The double drum kit attack shows one man playing just a shade of a beat behind the other, adding weight and dynamic force, and pushing everything into overdrive. There isn't anything on Mosaic you haven't heard before, but that doesn't matter. It's Ancient Sky's skillful assemblage that does; it's a collective imagination at work, all governed by intuitive feel for traveling the spaceways. These recombinations of rock history are as visceral as they are exploratory, making this set a must for fans of freaky, driving, post-psych rock.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek