Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno - Doobie Wonderland [Parallax Sounds - 2013]“Doobie Wonderland” finds this highly prolific Japanese space rock/ psychedelic band attempting to mix funk, disco & a distinctive 70’s edgy into their often wondering & spaced-out sound.
Acid Mothers Temple (with all their many name variations) are one of the most hit ‘n’ miss musical projects I can think of. Sometimes they create albums that are inspired, rewarding, & consistently fitting tributes to what ever genres or projects the said release is themed around. Then just as often they create albums that are messy & incoherent free-falls that relay on often shape-less/ tiresome jams, or create blatant & badly executed rip-offs of other bands work. I guess it’s fair to say “Doobie Wonderland” falls somewhere between these two camps- with moments of sonic consistency sitting along side rather uninspiring song craft, & quickly tiring jam based free-falls.
The release offers up five tracks in all, and running time wise these fall between just over eleven & half minutes, to just under the twenty three minute mark. We open up with “Do You remember Doobie Wonderland”, which starts off with the band repetitive chanting the tracks title again & again, over a mix of funk rocked-out guitar riffs, looped female swoons, & spacey snyth swirls. By around the three minute mark the chanted vocals have dropped out, and we drift into jammed out rock mode with a great mix of scouring layered guitar solos, consistent groove & fairly subdued trails of spacey synth trails. Mid-way through the twenty two minute track the vocal chant is brought back, but this time the are messed around with a bit as the jam gets more fired-up, also as the track progresses you get more funk ‘n’ strutting guitar elements mixed in with the jam-out vibe. By around the 15th minute it nicely winds down to a mix of on/off tabla, moody guitar lines, and backwards chanted elements. This track starts off slightly annoying, but pretty soon it really does suck you in.
After this we have the very bland ‘n’ dull “Planet Golden Love”, which is a mix of: shambling locked down organ churning, cascading guitar textures, buried & often off key vocals, loose spacey synth weaves, and a melody that whole sale rip offs The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows”.
Track three is entitled “Dance with The Space Gypsy Queen”, and it’s a passable if not very eventful mix of a locked down slight off-colour funk rock strut guitar, wondering bass lines, spacey synth trails, and a oddly unfitting line of reverb socked & buried vocals
Track four “M.J Love 666”, is a playful & comic book like mix of groovy ‘n’ cascading guitars, thick hazes of solo guitar & space bound synth textures, playful yet locked bass, and playful mix of male & female vocals saying stuff like ‘I’m Satan, Love 666 etc”. This track is ok for the first ten, maybe fifteen minutes, but at just shy of the nineteen minute mark it really starts to stretch ones patience, as there’s just not enough here to deserver such a lenght.
Lastly we have “Shining O And Jupiter”, which rather departs the funk attempts of the other tracks. And goes for a mix of rapidly played clear & tripped out guitar, radom space synth sweeps, distant & spaced male singing, and overlaid rambling japanese female talking. As the track progresser we get layers of more gitar, warbling female vocals, and a few other things. Again the tracks ok, but at over the eleven & a half minute it feels about five or so mintues too long.
All in all “Doobie Wonderland” is very much of a mixed bag of an album, where rewarding/ consistent moments sit side by side lacklustre & less impressive fare. Certainly this is not the ATM album to start on if you are unfamiliar with this project, but if you already a fan/ collector of the projects output there’s enough worthy stuff here to make you want to pick this up.