Spacemen 3

Performance: Live at the Melkweg 6/2/88

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Taang! Records inexplicably released this 1988 recording in order to fill out long-gone Spacemen 3's respectable backlog of performance albums and European bootlegs. While it is hard to avoid the terms "psychedelic" and "minimalist" in regard to this durable but ultimately vaporous-by-design band, fans will enjoy the hardcore jazz impulses that legitimized but probably limited the three (who were actually four). A number of these songs of course appear on other records, uncomfortably (but aptly) titled Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To and For All the Fucked-Up Children of this World, We Give You Spacemen 3, and others (debut Sound of Confusion and Perfect Prescription) before the defection of their competent drummers Pete Baines and Rosco. Overamped jamming on a single chord or simple progression renders most songs indistinguishable from one another, meandering along obscure streams-of-consciousness considered sublime listening to some, just plain strange to others. "Suicide" and "Take Me To the Other Side" are probably the furthest-flung acid-trip soundtracks, although "Walking with Jesus" represents the genre to which guitarist/vocalist Jason Pierce will ultimately become devoted in his later group, Spiritualized. In the meantime Sonic Boom (Peter Kember helps us out on "Rollercoaster," for those who find queasiness delicious. Can't dance to it (or "on" it), but safer than its pharmaceutical counterpart.

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