Carlton Melton - Aways Even [Agitated Records - 2013]I first became aware of this Northern California based psychedelic/ space rock project last year when they put out the excellent “Photos of Photos”- that release really seemed to offer-up a very rewarding(if not wholly original) selection of hypnotic tripped-out/ spaced- out rock grooves. This new LP & CD release(I’m reviewing the CD version), sees the band offering up another selection of fairly similar sonic fare to their last release, but I’m afraid to say this release sadly rather lacked the impact or entrancement of “Photos Of Photo”.
For me I think the main issue with “Aways Even” is that all of these six tracks are just rather plain, bog-standard & text book examples of psychedelic & space rock. Each track follows the pattern you expect it to, & each track builds, drifts or loops out just how you think it will, with a mix of repetitive churning rock drumming, spiralling guitar & bass patterns, and from time to time the addition of spacey or tripped-out synth textures. Sure “Photos of Photos” was far from original, overtly inventive or fresh, but at least the tracks on that album had some memorability about them, along with a flare for atmospherics & entrancing rock grooves. All of the tracks here just sound like a band on auto-pilot, with little or no sonic flare, and zero element of surprise or creative flair present anywhere here.
Instead of entrancing & sucking you in “Aways Even” just revels in space & psychedelic rock clichés. With the band offering up a bland selection of un-memorable song craft- let’s just hope this is a bad day at the office, and not the sign of a band running out of ideas, or worse still a band that just wants to repeat recording the same album over & over again…steadily get more bland & uneventfully with each new release they put out..Roger Batty