Monday 27 March 2023


If ever a band deserved to be called legends then it is California's Acid King, a band with a similar play loud. play hard and leave 'em screaming for more ethic to Lemmy's Motorhead. Long time fans of doom, stoner and psych will already be familiar with Acid King's music, their albums, EP's and splits so listing them all here sems a bit pointless. What we will do however is bring to your attention that mainstay guitarist/vocalist Lori S. has surrounded herself with some new musicians for Acid King's latest release "Beyond Vision" (Blues Funeral Recordings) and has expanded the band to a quartet with Jason Willer on drums, Bryce Shelton on bass/synths and Black Cobra’s Jason Landrian contributing extra guitar as well as sharing song writing credits with Lori.

Apparently new album "Beyond Vision" was not actually intended to be a new Acid King album and was originally conceived as a one off project, a chance for Lori S to work with some musicians she had wanted to collaborate with for some time, the project only really becoming an Acid King album as things developed, which makes sense when listening to the new album as "Beyond Vision" is unlike any Acid King album that has proceeded it, Previous albums were heavy, gnarly affairs built on a foundation of  heavily distorted riffs and thunderous rhythms, there were of course elements of subtlety and hazy experimentation to be found on albums like "Busse Woods" and "III" but on the whole the music was downtuned, doomic and dank. Now we are not here to tell you that Lori S has suddenly taken a 360 degree turn, swapped her leather jacket for a tie-dye kaftan and put flowers in her hair because that just would not be true, the dankness and doom are all still very much in evidence on the new album its just there are levels of cosmic experimentation at play here that have never been heard on an Acid King album previously. From opening instrumental "One Light Second Away", with its ominous, pulsating intro right through to final song "Color Trails" with its slowly building intensity there is not a second you will want to miss, skip or be distracted from and you will not be allowed to either as each track seamlessly segues into the next. If you had told Desert Psychlist, prior to hearing "Beyond Vision", that we would one day be comparing Acid King with bands like Colour Haze and Ufomammut we would have probably laughed in your face but here we are today doing just that, there is an out there factor and a headiness to tunes like "90 Seconds" and title track "Beyond Vision" that have only ever been hinted at before and it has given the band a whole new palette of colours to paint their musical soundscapes with. Of course Lori S being Lori S she is not going allow us to get away entirely riff free and so there are still plenty of crunching chord progressions, growling bass lines and pummelling drum patterns to get our teeth into, as well as her distinctive vocal tones, but overall this is an album where space texture and colour are king and the journey is everything.

Credit: Kevork Demirjian

"Beyond Vision" is probably the best comeback album never intended to be a comeback album ever recorded in the history of rock music, and possibly the only one. The musicianship throughout "Beyond Vision" is off the scale as is its concept of allowing each song to bleed into the next to make it feel more like a complete journey from start to finish. Acid King are back, they might not have meant to be, but you have to agree the world is a far, far better place with them in it.
Check 'em out..... 
© 2023 Frazer Jones

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