Primordial Undermind

You and Me and the Continuum

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The opening minute of the first song, "Device," summarizes what's in store for listeners on You and Me and the Continuum, the sophomore album from the Bostonian psyche band Primordial Undermind: dense, texturally messy, expansive psychedelia that grows more and more intense and invigorating by the second. In a Primordial Undermind soundscape, musical notes are splayed separately from the instruments -- and at first they sound that way, as if they were acting independently -- until gradually they come together and begin to carve a song out of the wall of shimmering riffs, hypnotic bass, shards of white noise, and fragments of melody. By album's end, the band has sculpted nine of the most warped, bad-acid, but beautifully searing drones that have ever existed. This is the type of music the word psychedelia was coined for -- full of tripped-out atmospherics that jump in a hyper-instant from mellow (though never placid) introspection to amphetamine freakout. Melody is less a foundation or an outcome here than it is a tool, another impetus of sound, another means to an excursion; leader Eric Arn's vocals, though they are present, seem virtually nonexistent and anonymous. It's almost as if the band (probably correctly) determined that words are a detriment to the trip, musical or otherwise, and so have concentrated on mystical, Eastern, modal guitar solos equally capable of bending metals or ushering you into either nirvana or some dark, sinister internal corner of yourself, with blissful but menacing distortion, cymbal fills that could be panes of breaking glass, and manic, spiritual drumming. You and Me and the Continuum is as lovely as it is ominous, perhaps because it is meant to be expansive, to broaden perspectives, to let loose all the rootless thoughts inside you. Put another way: it can open those minds receptive to it.

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