Mystical Path of the Number Eighty Six

Davis Redford Triad

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Mystical Path of the Number Eighty Six Review

by Ned Raggett

Originally recorded during what Steven Wray Lobdell described later as "a state of psychic duress," then remixed and reissued on Holy Mountain to reflect Lobdell's original plans for the release, The Mystical Path of the Number Eighty Six has a fair amount of baggage to carry but its free-flowing neo-psychedelic-via-compressed-space rock roar makes for a distinctly captivating listen, somewhere between the exultance of early Ash Ra Tempel and the glowering roar of Chrome. Lobdell's guitar is the lead voice on this instrumental recording and his performances definitely reflect a certain impatience with standards -- his explosive, heavily abused feedback growls on the opening "Solar Aquarius," especially towards the end, eschew chunkiness for open-ended solos that sound almost like they're being extruded from the amplifiers, pressed out slowly and then in sudden bursts. "Hymn of the Virgin Sun Queen" showcases a more aspirational edge to Lobdell's work, with a triumphant surge in sound being the core -- when the full band kicks in after the opening couple of minutes, it's a dramatic, beautiful moment that's easily the measure of Flying Saucer Attack's best moments in its early years. The drone of the title track, shifting into a sheet metal howl and echoing flow, is its near equal for evocative power. The more formal compositions, like the steady riff on "Mysteries of Cydonia" that recurs here and there, provides a relative anchor in comparison, as well as a useful contrast to Lobdell's greater flights of fancy.

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