The Acceleration of Time
A full house for Chicago’s Mellotron magic-makers.
Listening to the latest psychedelic whack-out from The Luck of Eden Hall, one cannot help but recall 1960s TV Series The Time Tunnel, which told the adventures of two scientists ‘lost in the swirling maze of past and future years’, who each episode ‘tumbled helplessly toward a new fantastic adventure somewhere along the infinite corridors of time’. For the mysterious, shifting patterns of time are at the core of this enthralling album, the ominous sounds of tick-ticking grandfather clocks regularly punctuating the Chicago tripsters’ Mellotron heavy, inter-dimensional music. The phaser-powered songs – all 75 minutes’ worth of them – might be breezy, brain-addles affairs (ref. The Move’s I Can Hear The Grass Grow) but the overriding message is that humankind is helpless to halt the march of time: ‘We stopped to smoke some hash/Soon we’ll be old and daft/Our bodies burned to ash,’ as the title track reflects. There are numerous highs but Arthropoda Lepidoptera is the standout, a seriously affecting love song with the diamond-studded lyric: ‘She is the one with the peach blossomed tangled surprise.’ If they change the name to The Luck of Bingo Hall, then The Acceleration of Time would be the equivalent of a full house.
GB (UK), February 2017
The Luck of Eden Hall – “The Acceleration of Time”
Οι Luck Of Eden Hall είναι αρκετά γνωστοί στον underground χώρο της σύγχρονης ψυχεδέλειας και πώς να μην είναι δηλαδή αφού κυκλοφορούν στην πιάτσα από το 1989 με τον έναν ή τον άλλον τρόπο (singles, self releases, συμμετοχές σε συλλογές και τις ενδιάμεσες «κανονικές» κυκλοφορίες). Φέτος όμως δημιούργησαν μία από τις πιο ολοκληρωμένες δουλειές τους στο “The Acceleration Of Time” οπότε δικαίως θα εμφανιστούν και για πρώτη φορά στη συγκεκριμένη στήλη μας. Μελωδικοί και με κάποιες Beatles-ικές αναφορές, κατά κύριο λόγο είναι οι ονειρική βάση που δημιουργούν τα πλήκτρα που χαρακτηρίζει τον ήχο τους ενώ η καταγωγή τους από τα ’80s αρκετές φορές δεν κρύβεται. Μόνο κακό, και ενδεικτικό ίσως γιατί δεν μπόρεσαν να ξεφύγουν από τον underground χώρο, ότι σε σχεδόν ογδόντα λεπτά μουσικής δεν υπάρχει ένα τραγούδι που να υψώνει ανάστημα. Μην αποθαρρυνθείτε όμως από αυτό, το σύνολο τους δικαιώνει.
The Luck Of Eden Hall is well known in the underground space of modern psychedelia, and how not to be, that after circulating in rank since 1989 in one form or another (singles, self releases, appearances in compilations and intermediate “normal” releases ). But this year they created one of their most complete work on “The Acceleration Of Time” so rightly they will appear for the first time in this column. Melodic and with some Beatles-economic-references, mainly is the dream base create buttons that characterizes their sound while the origin of the ’80s are several times not hidden. Only bad thing, and indicative perhaps because they could not escape from the underground room, that in almost eighty minutes of music there is not a song that raises stature. Do not be discouraged by this, the whole justifies!
!Rocking (Greece), January 2017
The Active Listener
The Luck of Eden Hall – The Acceleration of Time
I’ve been a long time in putting this review together, as “The Acceleration of Time” was released by The Luck of Eden Hall way back in April. Perhaps it is apropos that a record so obsessed with time should be reviewed only after the reviewer has given this collection of songs the time it so richly deserves.
There should be no need to introduce you to The Luck of Eden Hall. After all, they’ve been around for a long, long time (time again), diligently producing album after album of premium grade psychedelic pop. Popping up again and again on those juicy Fruits de Mer compilations, now appearing on soundtracks and in Record Collector magazines. Always solid, always producing much more than mere perfect songs, but solid and well-crafted works of art. If there’s a dud in the cannon, this reviewer sure hasn’t heard it, and I’ve had my eye (and ear) on these cats since Pumpkins were mere sprouts and the Chicago scene was the last unspoiled hunting ground for a music industry that never had a clue.
However, if this IS your first foray into the work of The Luck of Eden Hall, you’ve certainly joined the party at a high point. On “The Acceleration of Time”, the band goes from strength to strength, serving up their unique brand of psychedelia that features flashes of power pop adrenaline, prog virtuosity and plenty of :Lucy in the Sky…” flower power imagery. The instrumentation is confident and pristine, with not a note out of place. Best of all, LoEH write SONGS. This is no echo drone phoned-in formula psych. Instead you get verses, choruses, hooks, clever turns of phrase and actual sonic stories. This is purpose over Prozac; psychedelia for the thinking man.
“The Acceleration of Time” is an ambitious 15 song double album, and it may be the crown jewel in The Luck of Eden Hall’s already accomplished recording career. Time is obviously a concern, and a growing one for The Luck of Eden Hall, as the songs on this impressive collection are haunted by the pursuit of the second hand. Throughout the work, clocks tick, bells chime, reminding us again and again that we are being pursued by our own mortality. How many songs do we have left in us? How much time is left on the scoreboard?
Kicking off with “Slow and Blown to Kingdom Come”, fans will recognize the touchstone elements that make The Luck of Eden Hall sound so unique. Greg Curvey’s multi-headed hydra of guitars that crunch and bite or soar and attack like a psychedelic cobra, drumming by Carlos Mendoza that could hold it’s own against an artillery barrage, Mark Lofgren’s melodic yet precise bass guitar lines that add rhythmic sinew and bone and that amazing melotron washing color onto everything it touches, courtesy of Jim Licka.
“A Procession of Marshmallow Soldiers Across the Clockwork Pudding” has to win some sort of award for best song title of the year. This instrumental is the first of several, and serves as a beautiful counterpoint to the clockwork precision of the poppy openers. Although Curvey carries the lion’s share of songwriting credits on this release, Lofgren’s title track “The Acceleration of Time” is a gem, and could be a lost Eno track from “Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy”. His other contributions to this masterwork are equally spectacular, my favorite probably being “Only Robots Can Search the Deep Ocean Floor”.
One of the best things about this record is how well it works as a front to back concept record. It also works as a collection of greatest hits (if one can do that on a single collection of songs from the same record). Fans of the Shuffle feature will revel at “The Acceleration of Time”, as there is no way to mix this up in a way that doesn’t work. Time may move in a linear direction, but the Luck of Eden Hall have fashioned a 77-minute wormhole of a record. Rockers are paced by haunting lullabies, pop gems give way to lush instrumentals and the whole thing is well paced, hypnotic and dreamlike.
Sometimes a reviewer gets a record that is love at first sight. And like love that is more passion-based, those glowing Spring feelings may wane with the passing of time. I’m glad that I gave this record such a long gestation period before penning this review. Time itself has served as a proving ground for the intelligence, wit and depth of this sterling effort. Some loves are meant to withstand the test of Time.
Best record of 2016.
Tim Ferguson (New Zealand), January 2017
The Active Listener
Fear & Loathing Fanzine
The Luck of Eden Hall, The End of The Lane 7″ (Mega Dodo)
Contemporary psychedelic rock with more than a grasp of pop sensibility. Based in Chicago, the band have been around for twenty years and have already released numerous records, garnering a loyal following and plaudits from the likes of Billy Corgan. Musically, they veer effortlessly from dreamy psych on the a-side through to more upbeat, almost power-pop on the flip. The a-side was inspired by a Neil Gaiman book, who returns the favour with a (mega) doodle illustration for the sleeve. I really enjoyed this record and I’ll definitely be trying to check out more of their releases.
Andy Pearson (UK), December 2016
Fear & Loathing Fanzine
The Luck of Eden Hall, The End of The Lane / Blown To Kingdom Come
Chicago psychdoodlers The Luck of Eden Hall have been around since the ’90s, and seem to have steadily amassed a quite substantial discography without anyone really noticing, and here’s another nifty seven inch to add to the pile. ‘The End of The Lane’, (inspired by a Neil Gaiman novel), has a low-key shimmering opening of carefully layered guitars and keys, vaguely reminiscent of mid-70s Genesis, with it’s weird, Mellotron driven pastoralism, though it briefly shifts up a gear into a slightly more frenzied prog/psych daymare moment. ‘Blown To Kingdom Come’ begins with odd electronic bleeps, before launching into a more straightforward guitar and drum powered rocker, with a nice, freaked-out guitar solo -as if someone had spiked the guitarist’s tea with acid -and a bit of prog-styled stop-action. It’s all quite pleasing and nicely eccentric -definitely a bit of a grower. As a bonus, the sleeve boasts a sweet little cover doodle by Gaiman himself.
Neil Hussey (UK), October 2016
Timemazine Fanzine #9
The Luck of Eden Hall, The Acceleration of Time 2016 (2LP Headspin)
There are bands that they can’t transcend the quality success of their first album, no matter how they try. There are also bands that are keep on surprising us (pleasantly) with every new release. Releasing one album better than the other! Greg Curvey and his band The Luck of Eden Hall, belong to this category. Greg and I, happen to be friends from the very old days of “Belladonna Marmalade” and “Par Crone”, so being an aficionado of his music, I’ll try my best to be as much’objective’ as i can… The Acceleration of Time is the BEST album of TLoEH so far, and indisputably one of the TOP albums of 2016! A filling and substantial double album, consisting of 15 songs, revealingChicago’s best Psych kept secret! Inspired song-titles with even more inspired lyrics! Here are some moments of the album that stuck in my mind… Clocks are ticking…album takes off with “Slow”, a typical TLoEH track (at least for the initiates). The instrumentalguitarish “A Procession of Marshmallow Soldiers Across The Clockwork Pudding” moves us into a new dreamy psychedelisious landscape with colors everywhere. Something has changed… Clocks are ticking in a psychedelically strange way, Pop goes the Psych with “The Acceleratin of Time”. Majestically trip feeling on “Channel 50 Creature Feature”. “Arthropoda Lepidoptera” is nothing but a strange psych fairytale drenched in past decade’s psychedelia. There’s a kind of Dr. Strange atmos on the psych melodic “Only Robots Can Search The Deep Ocean Floor” while the typical Psych TLoEH “The Happiness Vending Machine” talks about the ultimate god of our days, the God of Gods… Money! Ethereal dreamy psychedelic melodies are flooding the place with “White Caps In The Wind” while I can discern some psych flames of the Let It Be era on balladesque “The Saints Are Quiet Ablove Us”. So, Greghas interesting stories to tell. that dresses them with a unique music and this album is the most replete and mature so far, that poses a rick on Chicago’s best kept psych secret… The Lusk of Eden Hall… privilage for the few!!!
Michalis Lagopatis (Greece), October 2016
Gew Gaw Fanzine
The Luck of Eden Hall, The End of The Lane / Blown to Kingdom Come (Mega Dodo)
My favorite band from Chicago is here with another release. After nine albums, quite a few singles and round 25years in the scene, the TLOEH offer another one 7”. In the end of the lane is inspired by the book of Neil Gaiman entitled The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is a lyrical melodic psych/pop song full of great guitar, echo in the voice etc! On the other side there is blown to kingdom come which is taken from their latest album, the excellent The Acceleration Of Time! Finally, the cover is a drawing made by Neil Gaiman especially for this release. Hurry for your copy !!!
Η αγαπημένη μου μπάντα από το Σικάγο είναι εδώ με μια ακόμα κυκλοφορία. Ύστερα από εννέα άλμπουμ, κάμποσα σινγκλ και καμιά 25αριά χρόνια παρουσίας οι TLOEH μας προσφέρουν άλλο ένα 7΄΄. Το the end of the lane είναι εμπνευσμένο από το βιβλίο του Neil Gaiman με τίτλο The Ocean At The End Of The Lane και είναι ένα μελωδικά λυρικό psych/pop τραγούδι γεμάτο φανταστικές κιθάρες, echo στη φωνή κλπ! Από την άλλη πλευρά υπάρχει το blown to kingdom come το οποίο είναι παρμένο από το τελευταίο τους άλμπουμ, το εξαιρετικό The Acceleration Of Time! Τέλος, το εξώφυλλο είναι ένα σχέδιο που έκανε ο Neil Gaiman ειδικά για την συγκεκριμένη κυκλοφορία.
George Parkou (Greece), September 2016
The Luck of Eden Hall (US) The Acceleration of Time
Somehow or other, Chicagoans The Luck of Eden Hall (their name derives from a medieval glass beaker, the Luck of Edenhall, in the care of a wealthy Northern British family), despite having been in existence for over twenty years, have passed me by up until now; in fact, I only became aware of them when they hired my Mellotron for a short UK tour (hi, chaps). My loss, going the contents of 2012’s Regal Crabomophone Volume 9 EP, featuring two tracks from their Alligators Eat Gumdrops LP and two covers, The Doors’ immortal Crystal Ship and SRC’s Black Sheep. Excellent takes on these two are almost matched by the band’s own material, making me look forward to hearing the album, their swirly, modern psychedelia being a match for keys man Jim Licka’s own project, Umbra & the Volcan Siege. Licka slathers his new M4000 all over Crystal Ship, with choir and string parts that enhance an almost overly-familiar song beautifully, although that’s all we get this time round. At the time of writing, I believe the band have a few copies of this left, after which I expect your only chance will be a Bandcamp download. Even if you invest in a copy of the album, this is worth it for the covers.
The aforementioned Alligators Eat Gumdrops, is, as expected, a fine psychedelic powerpop album, highlights including haunting, upright piano-led opener High Heeled Flippers, the propulsive, sax-driven Ten Meters Over The Ground, the lysergic Amoreena Had Enough Yesterday and the rocking title track that finishes things off. Only two obvious Mellotron tracks, Licka adding lush strings to Amoreena Had Enough Yesterday with some mucking about with flutes, plus brass and string section parts on A Carney’s Delirium.
2013’s Victoria Moon is a varied, powerpop/psych release, highlights including Queen Of The Stars, the superb, echo-heavy guitar part on Zap, Dandy Horse, vaguely reminiscent of Joe South’s Hush and the ’60s-ish Cracked Alice, with its treated upright piano part. ‘Better left off’ efforts? None, I’m pleased to say. Licka’s Mellotron turns up on several tracks, unsurprisingly, with high-end cellos (?) on the title track, strings and a skronky flute part at the end of Sitting Bull, background brass (?) on Drunk Like Shakespeare On Love, choirs on Dandy Horse, echoed flutes and choirs on Super Phantasmal Heroine, lush strings on Blood On My Feet and strings on She’s Your Anodyne.
2016’s double vinyl The Acceleration of Time (getting older? You’ll get the title) ups the ante somewhat, although I have to admit to some slight bias, as I played Mellotron with mainman Gregory Curvey recently, on a set including several of these songs. This is recognisably the same band as before, although sleeve credits indicate that Curvey does the lion’s share of the work, recording six tracks, including all five instrumental pieces on his own, while Jim Licka only turns up on four. Without one duffer amongst its fifteen tracks, highlights are hard to pinpoint, but Arthropoda Lepidoptera, The Family Timekeeper, The Happiness Vending Machine and Twelve all stand out; uncoincidentally, they’re the four I played live, so familiarity probably helps. Not that much of Licka’s M4000 this time round, with strings all over opener Slow and Arthropoda Lepidoptera, strings and choir on The Happiness Vending Machine and strings and flute on Twelve, although it sounds like Curvey adds samples to several other tracks. Overall? A triumph. Buy.
Andy Thompson (United Kingdom), September 2016
Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Psych Fest
Seconda edizione del festival 14th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus che si tiene nel mese di agosto a Cardigan, cittadina sulle coste dell’affascinante e verdissimo Galles. Nato un po’ in sordina su iniziativa di membri dei Sendelica, la band psych-prog locale, e dell’etichetta Fruits de Mer Records, il festival ha esordito l’anno scorso con un sold-out che evidentemente ha invogliato gli organizzatori a continuare. E il pubblico ha gradito, dato che ai molti volti già visti nella scorsa edizione quest’anno se ne sono aggiunti di nuovi. Comprensibile, poiché nonostante si tratti di un piccolo festival la line-up è sempre piuttosto allettante per gli amanti delle sonorità psichedeliche, soprattutto di stampo britannico, e il mood che si respira in quell’angolo di Galles, peraltro non così facilmente raggiungibile, è davvero particolare. Forse anche perché ci si sente così lontani e isolati da ciò che succede nel mondo e per tre giorni intensi si può ascoltare della buona musica dal vivo, dalle prime ore del pomeriggio fino a notte, senza altri pensieri.
La cancellazione all’ultimo momento di uno dei nomi più attesi nel programma di quest’anno, Twink and The Fairies, non ha intaccato la qualità complessiva del festival, anche se è dispiaciuto parecchio non poter sentire dal vivo il leggendario batterista che ha suonato con nomi come Tomorrow, Pretty Things, Pink Fairies e che ha continuato le sue collaborazioni fino alle più recenti proprio con i Sendelica. Di leggende ce n’era però anche un’altra, Ax Genrich, ex chitarrista del gruppo krautrock Guru Guru che, accompagnato alle tastiere da Sunhair, ha condotto il pubblico verso la sua psichedelia cosmica intrisa di elettronica.
L’altro gruppo particolarmente atteso erano i Vibravoid che hanno suonato domenica sera a conclusione della line-up del festival, ma che non hanno deluso le attese, regalando al pubblico una performance intensa e caleidoscopica, una delle migliori viste nei vari concerti a cui abbiamo potuto assistere negli ultimi anni. Il loro suono psichedelico e acido era particolarmente compatto e coinvolgente, accompagnato come sempre da un suggestivo light-show.
I Sendelica hanno suonato il venerdì nella versione acustica, ospitando Sarah Evans al canto, e il sabato nella line-up completa e nella loro versione elettrica caratterizzata da suoni fluttuanti tra la psichedelia e il progressive. Alcuni dei membri della band sono poi stati ospiti a loro volta in altre sessioni, in accompagnamento a musicisti intervenuti al festival in versione solista, come Ted Selke dei The Seventh Ring of Saturn e Gregory Curvey, cantante dei The Luck of Eden Hall, che abbiamo visto anche nell’inedita veste di batterista insieme a membri dei Sendelica e a Sunhair alle tastiere. Durante tutto il festival c’è stato difatti un continuo e stimolante rimescolamento tra i componenti delle varie band che ha raggiunto il culmine con Jack Ellister il quale, dopo la sua sempre elegante performance acustica, ha invitato una decina di altri musicisti sul palco per una jam session improvvisata seguita da una cover di Rebel Rebel di Bowie. Il risultato è stato davvero entusiasmante.
Alternate tra i due palchi del festival, quello interno al The Cellar e quello esterno al Tiki Bar, anche diverse interessanti band con sonorità psych di taglio più pop come i Deviant Amps, i Soft Hearted Scientists, i Telephones. Psichedelia per tutti i palati dunque per questo evento già diventato un appuntamento fisso per gli affezionati.
Rossana Morriello (Italy), September 2016
Penny Black Music
The Luck of Eden Hall, The End of The Lane / Blown to Kingdom Come (Mega Dodo)
Only 300 copies exist of this wonderful new release, of which half are numbered and on blue vinyl, while the rest, which are again numbered, are on black vinyl. Although they have been around for a mere twenty years, I had never heard of the Luck of Eden Hall who are fronted by Greg Curvey, but Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan cites their debut single as being still one of his favourites of all time.
The band since the 1990s have had over twenty-five vinyl and CD releases to their name, and this current single pays homage to classic psychedelia as well as author Neil Gaiman’s book, ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’.
The delightfully-entitled ‘The End of the Lane’ starts off almost chilled in fashion, but echoes the mood of the Beatles ‘The White Album’, while having the pace of the Velvet Underground’s ‘Who Loves the Sun’ from ‘Loaded’. The vocals are clearly delivered, just lightly bubbling away on top and over slow instrumentation, while underneath the guitars have a Johnny Marr like flow until it changes gear. It speeds on up, before returning to its original flow and gentleness, and is very calming, charming and oddly unique.
‘Blown to Kingdom Come’, an album track, is the opposite, and loud with dominant drums and keyboards battling to be the superior instrument and the vocals shoutin for attention. It remains very much in the cool 60’s but has its own take on the classic era of fabness. A brilliant take of 60’s joy. 5 Stars from me.
Anthony Strutt (United Kingdom), September 2016
Penny Black Music
I Don’t Hear A Single
The Luck of Eden Hall – An Appreciation
My Psych Pop fascination has never left me and since the late 80’s there’s been some great bands. Most have come and gone, often leaving just one great “lost” album. Others have adapted their sound to a more commercial format, mainly out of necessity.
One band who have been consistently brilliant are The Luck Of Eden Hall and thankfully they are still with us and get better and better.
To coincide with the excellent Megadodo Singles Club release of The End Of The Lane 7 Inch Single, I asked my great friend, Mick Dillingham, to write a piece on the band.
Chicago’s psychedelic combo The Luck Of Eden Hall were first formed way back in the early nineties, the era of endless tiny done on a shoestring indie labels and ultimately doomed, often hopeless, indie bands. Eden Hall played lots of small gigs, put out a couple of cheaply recorded cassette singles and recorded an obscure album. The latter being in a small studio that, with little control over the finished product, sounds totally of its time, place and unfortunate circumstance.
More garage that psychedelia in production and though the budding talent is obvious even then, it’s all a bit noisy and straight forward to my ears. However, it has become highly rated by those enthusiasts who like that particular era and that particular sound.
An attempt at a second album was so disastrous that the band and the producer agreed to wipe the master tapes rather than let anyone else hear them. The band limped on a while longer and then drifted apart and got on with their lives. Its an all too familiar story and generally that would be the end of it.
But then a decade later, home recording techniques and equipment had improved beyond recognition and this heralded in a new era of true creative freedom for hundreds of gifted songwriters and musicians. They hold down day jobs and when they can they head down to their home studio basement to indulge in what they truly love.
In 2002 Greg Curvey got his own home recording set up and bringing in his old bandmate and fellow songwriter (very much the Moulding to his Partridge) Mark Lofgren and The Luck Of Eden Hall were reborn in spectacular style. Now they could do whatever they wanted creatively without any interference and boy does it show.
Since then it’s been one breathtakingly brilliant album after another, magnificent psych pop glory built around great songs and riffs, masterful playing and perfectly realised production. The new album, The Acceleration of Time, effortlessly continues the golden creative highs of the last decade that have made the band one to love. I certainly love The Luck Of Eden Hall but I am always aware of the one person that loves them more than anyone else ever could and that is Curvey himself.
Lets face the fact that in this day and age, a brilliant Psychedelic Power Pop band is only going to be of interest to a few thousand active listeners at most. How many albums does even Jason Falkner sell in reality? Ninety nine percent of musicians do not make a living out of playing their own music.
Curvey knows that and embraces the realistic opportunities that his abundant talents give him firmly with both hands. He records, writes and plays his music with unbridled passion for endless hours with no real financial incentives to make him do so. He also, designs, prints and puts the beautiful covers together, late into the night, with as much love care and attention as he lavishes on his music. He also does intricate special edition covers, the one for the new album is ridiculously intricate and quite wonderful.
On top of this, he’s always on Facebook talking about, music and justice and all sorts of things with such interest and enthusiasm and insight. He really is a down to earth Renaissance man of our times, quietly and modestly, being creative and interested whenever the opportunity allows.
The European label Headspin have taken to releasing beautiful vinyl editions of the last couple of albums and everybody’s beloved psychedelic vinyl label Fruits de Mer have put out various singles, compilation tracks and the like.
You just know that whenever the packages turn up at his house with the latest vinyl release that Curvey will be grinning like child let loose in a Sweet Shop as he tears them open to see what wonders reside within. He always delights in the various adventures now afforded to him with obvious joy in his heart.
A couple of low key crowd funded trips to the UK to play to small but appreciative audiences in small venues are treated like a dream come true to the man. Just last week he came over for some solo shows, built around his appearance at the Fruit de Mer showcase in Wales. As ever he’s cherishing every minute, another wonderful adventure to look back on with fond memories.
To be honest Curvey is living the creative dream I’d be happy to live and not some rock n’ roll treadmill nightmare that is the fate of so many musicians. Free of the industry and all its various and dubious restraints Curvey, like many unknown gifted musicians, is able to let his creativity bloom at its very finest. It is us discerning listeners that reap the abundant rewards of this freedom by receiving such wonderful music for our listening pleasure.
The two tracks that are posted here are from the extremely limited 7 Inch Release of The End Of The Lane. Released on the magnificent Megadodo label. I’ll be doing an extended piece on the label in the near future, but in the meantime, you can buy the single and discover other Megadodo delights at www.megadodo.co.uk
The Luck of Eden Hall-The End of The Lane / Blown to Kingdom Come 7″
The Luck of Eden Hall is a great neo-psych rock band from Chicago that I guess most of my readers are already familiar with. They have been around since the late 80s (okay, with a little hiatus in the middle) and put out 25 CD and vinyl releases altogether on labels like Fruits de Mer and Headspin Records, and I’ve been a fan since they sent me some of their CD’s around 10 years ago. This brand-new single released this week includes two new great songs. The A-side “The End of the Line” is influenced by Neil Gaiman’s book The Ocean at the End of the Line, and is bit more darker and sinister than what the band usually comes up with. It starts off in a slow, dreamy and a bit spooky manner. Only after three minutes the track starts rocking for a while and then slows down again. I love the vibe of this over five-minute long song that is not available elsewhere! To the band’s great enjoyment Neil Gaiman was happy to draw the single’s pretty minimal cover. On the flipside, “Blown to Kingdom Come” is a faster, energetic pop psych song a bit in The Beatles vein (but even better, if you ask me…). You can also hear the song on the band’s new album The Accelator of Time that I just recently reviewed. If you want to buy a copy hurry up because this is very limited edition of only 150 copies on black vinyl and 150 on clear blue only for the Mega Dodo Singles Club members.
DJ Astro (Finland), August 2016
7th Level Music
The Luck of Eden Hall release new single inspired by Neil Gaiman.
Chicago psych-rockers The Luck of Eden Hall release their new single, “The End of the Lane” today. The single, a great trippy psych tune, is inspired by award-winning author Neil Gaiman’s book The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Gaiman even drew the cover art for the limited single.
The single can be purchase for download, and there are limited blue and black 7″ vinyl versions to be had as well. The B-side is the song “Blown to Kingdom Come” from their excellent album The Acceleration of Time.
Keep your mind open.
Nik Havert (USA), August 2016
7th Level Music
The Luck of Eden Hall, The End of The Lane 7″ (Mega Dodo)
Out on 15th August 2016 is the new single from Chicago’s The Luck of Eden Hall. There’s a blue vinyl version for Mega Dodo singles club members only, and a black vinyl version on general release, both limited to 150 copies. Whilst I only became aware of The Luck of Eden Hall via their releases on Fruits de Mer Records, they actually have a much longer history, and an appeal that spans both underground and mainstream audiences. They formed in the 1990s, and have over 25 releases available including nine albums. They count Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins among their fans, and were nominated for an Emmy for their theme song for Moochie Kalala Detective’s Club on PBS Television. It’s not often you’ll find Emmy nominees and TV theme tune makers who are just as happy releasing limited edition records on underground labels! This new single is inspired by Neil Gaiman’s novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and includes artwork by Neil Gaiman himself. The lines between underground and mainstream continue to blur in that the artwork was produced by a megastar author, yet retains a handmade DIY feel with its unassuming sketch of a bucket accompanied by nicely twiddly fountain pen calligraphy. The End of the Lane begins and ends as a vintage-inspired psych-pop track with jangly guitar and atmospheric Mellotron orchestration, whilst in the middle of the song they crank up the volume with lashings of intense, searing guitar noise. Blown to Kingdom Come is taken from their recent album The Acceleration of Time, out on Headspin Records. The song combines a meaty, uptempo powerpop sound with spacerockish electronic burblings, flowing psychedelic guitar, and a melancholic, almost folk-tinged chorus melody, in a manner that is innovative and enjoyable. Available at www.mega-dodo.co.uk
Kim Hartman (United Kingdom), August 2016
The Luck of Eden Hall-The Acceleration of Time
Since 1989 and with various line-ups, The Luck of Eden Hall, captained by their bohemian leader Gregory Curvey, have been releasing a steady stream of albums, quietly honing their craft and working hard to achieve the best results possible. Well, I reckon all this dedication has paid off big time with this stunning double album that flows beautifully, a sprawling trip through time and space that is wholly satisfying.
Opening with ticking clocks and feedback the band launch into “Slow” with purpose and passion, the song a delightful Psych Pop tune with effected guitars and solid rhythm, topped off with washes of mellotron that give the tune a very trippy feel. Indeed, this blend of Mellotron and Guitar is a signature sound on the album, a distinctive sound that marks the band out from others in the genre. Moving on, “Blown to Kingdom Come” has a similar feel before the bizarrely titled “A Procession of Marshmallow Soldiers Across the Clockwork Pudding” adds a mellow Prog element to the sound, the guitar soaring across the musical landscape and into the starfields. To end side one clocks return as the title track glides majestically from the speakers a song about time speeding up and getting stoned in Wales (haven’t we all ?) the tune containing a lazy summer vibe that is sweet and easy on the ear.
Opening side two in style, “Channel 50 Creature Feature” is a nine minute instrumental that ebbs and flows beautifully, all instruments played by Mr Curvey, the track highlighting his excellent guitar skills creating a fine slab of Space Rock bliss. Ensuring we have plenty of time to dream, “”Arthropoda Lepidoptera” is a relaxed affair that reminds me of The Beatles at their most Psychedelic, whilst “You Asked About Water On Mars” starts with ticking and alarms before morphing into a heavy psych affair, then back into some electronic strangeness, then back to the heavy guitar, just over three minutes of wonderment and psychedelic delight, and so endeth side two.
Sticking with the strangeness, “Only Robots Can Search The Deep Ocean Floor” is very trippy with a weird rhythm and a mellotron flooded ambience that is beautiful and strange, that atmosphere blown apart by the Garage-Psych frenzy of “Another High Speed Blowout” the band pulling out all the stops as they rock out with happy abandonment. Previously released as a single, “The Happiness Vending Machine” is a highlight for me, a sing-a-long tune that gets you grooving around with a grin on your face just like the Cheshire Cat, side three brought to a close with “Twelve” a tune with a similar feel.
Beginning the final side in an instrumental fashion, “White Caps In The Wind” is another mellow tune that remind me of Camel, delicate guitar drifting gracefully through the first half before the piece takes on a heavier hue although this is controlled and softened by the mellotron washes. Just as delightful, “The Saints Are Quiet Above Us” is a future soft psych classic that features acoustic guitar strumming a hypnotic solo and plenty of atmospheric delights. To round it all of, “A Man Of Conservative Style” has the same feel as the opening tune, bringing us full circle, blending heavy guitar, melody and excellent arrangement, concluding a musical journey that you will want to repeat often, as there is so much going on that there will always be something new to hear, a different track becoming your favourite, a triumph from start to finish.
Simon Lewis (United Kingdom), August 2016
The Luck of Eden Hall-The Acceleration of Time
This nicely packaged umpteenth release from the Chicago combo serves up four “suites” of typically vibrant, classy and lightly psych-dusted pop-rock that will delight the faithful and, if there’s justice, win over plenty more. Gregory Curvey’s more conventional though often clever song craft contrasts neatly with Mark Lofgren’s symphonic sweeps, ones that steer the ship into occasionally choppy yet undeniably enjoyable and well-executed instrumental prog-rock waters.
The Lovely, sugar-sweet, though definitely not saccharine, ‘Arthropoda Lepidoptera’ -previously heard on last year’s Mega Dodo’s Seance At Syd’s collection- and ‘The Happiness Vending Machine’ head a number of thoroughly outstanding cuts which, while 60s-tinged, are contemporary and confident sounding. They also show that there’s so much more to this psychedelia lark than fuzzed-out guitars and blown speakers and how far The Luck of Eden Hall have come since the more visceral days of Belladonna Marmalade.
Ian Fraser (United Kingdom), July 2016
The Sunday Experience
The Luck of Eden Hall (The End of The Lane 7″)
So here we are back as promised, with that corking limited edition release from the luck of eden hall. Not due for a few weeks, ‘the end of the lane’ offers a ghostly visioning of progressive psych and finds them shifting from a point of being mere classic to something approaching the sublime. With its dreamy dissipates and impeccably mellowed craft ‘the end of the lane’ is a hallucinogenic trip-a-delic overture, more so, an experience founded in the finest tapestries of English psych eccentricity. Morphing trademark tLoEH signatures of yore, ‘Lane’ free spirits its way through a lysergic sonic fracturing that’s haloed upon the elemental fusion of progressive / psychedelic dialects, its mind expanding journey proffering a kaleidoscopic palette daubed in colourised textures that subtly point with a hazy nod to the likes of ‘SF Sorrow’ era Pretty Things, Floyd, ELO and the Zombies albeit gathered exquisitely and spoken in an ‘on the Sunday of life’ era Porcupine Tree tongue. the release arrives in a strictly limited wax press in both blue and black variants and is the latest instalment of Mega Dodo’s acclaimed singles club. For further information and ordering details go to http://www.mega-dodo.co.uk/products/the-luck-of-eden-hall
Mark Barton (United Kingdom), June 2016
The Sunday Experience
The Luck of Eden Hall (US)
A double album by the sublime ambition and never hidden. A concept composition where the songs are lyrically about everything related to time and all connected each other but don’t tell a story in the sense of an opera. If this suggests a whimsically progressive structure, the set has an effective concentration on rock and psychedelic sides of late sixties and early seventies.
Mix psych, prog, pop, without falling into repetition end in itself and without scoop out chasms of pure aestheticism is an extreme demonstration of brilliance and the flow of the sound synchronizes surreal sensations. The notion is how does it feel to increase the cyclical and periodic scanning of life, grow old quickly while your mind’s eye is exaggerating intricate and abstruse equations, analysis and backstreets with no way out, continuing to do so for thousands of hours, maybe longer.
The Luck of Eden Hall playing since 1989 and infuse technicolor factors with vinyls, cds, cassettes and EPs reaching different shades of style and adaptation. Certainly the founders Mark Logfren and Greg Curvey retrace a trajectory that results in maturation, inevitably driven by the evolution of things. “The Acceleration Of Time” has strangely reminded me of Gentle Giant’s masterpiece “Three Friends”, possibly for the odd tempos or for the use of keyboards or to the concept of transmitting a unique feeling. The use of the mellotron and certain celebratory tones, sometimes epic, make it a wonderful progression in pursuit of pop appearances, although the Chicago band belongs to a psychonaut culture affected by an inner odyssey, alongside swarms of geometrical hallucinations.
‘A Procession Of Marshmallow Soldiers Across The Clockwork Pudding’ is the best instrumental piece from the days of “Panic In Babylon” by BJM, re-tastes the fantastic trips “over the sea to the valley” of the Yes in precious silk. ‘Slow’ dominating effects of visual glide by crashing in multiples of “25 O’Clock” (Dukes Of Stratospheare) or “Like Clockwork” (Boomtown Rats) and Bowie breathing Lodger-like. ‘Channel 50 Creature Feature’ is suspended shiver oozing Floyd from the ‘formica-mantras’ era, contracts guitar explosions at times furious. Still traces “Us and Them” like an ellipse of shiny arabesques in ‘Arthropoda Lepidoptera’, ‘The Saints Are Quiet Above Us’, ‘Only Robots Can Search The Deep Ocean Floor’, invaded by passages of sheet-lightning.
The fragment ‘You Asked About Water On Mars’ is amazing, an overflowing lysergic power-pop fits in a cloned cameo and returned to the re-model-theme of “Clockwork Orange”. If we follow the disruptive ‘The Happiness Vending Machine’ expanding the Curvey guitar profuse in ‘Blown To Kingdom Come’ (like an old Nick Saloman hit transmitted by an AOR American radio) then the timelines overlap dimensionally. Soft harmonies, space pills thinned out, mescaline beaches and crystal gulls whisper velvety rarefactions in ‘White Caps In The Wind’.
Crimson tapestries developed by the mellotron and rabid electrical noises evolve hysterical reverberations in ‘High Speed Another Blowout’, ‘The Acceleration Of Time’ and ‘Twelve’, creating through absolutely fragile melodic perturbations a synthesized escalation of sweet beat, transforming ‘The Family Timekeeper’ and ‘Man of A Conservative Style’ from simple watercolor to smoldering euphoric gas.
A work that has revitalized the meaning of concept album. Dreamy, maybe romantic, explores the unusual states of mind turning the music into light swirls.
Sandro Priarone (Italy), June 2016
Art Into Dust
The Luck of Eden Hall-The Acceleration of Time
A few weeks ago the mighty Winterpills released their new album Love Songs. And as always with this special and much cherished band I so confidently knew, even without even hearing a single note that it was going to be yet another ten out of ten classic of creative splendour in an already perfect unbroken run of great Winterpills albums. And of course it was just that because with the Winterpills it always is. And now just a few weeks later The Luck of Eden Hall unleash their latest platter upon us and the same rules apply. The Acceleration of Time was never going to be better than or not quite as good as what has gone before because what has gone before has always perfection and you can absolutely guarantee any new release by the band is going to be equally magnificent. As of course it is just that because with The Luck of Eden Hall it always is.
There are a lot of excellent psychedelic bands to enjoy these days but the Eden Hallsters are effortlessly and without doubt in my mind the finest of the lot. Brilliant songs, adventurous, masterful production and dazzling musical skills are the benchmarks here and combined with an absolute love for what they are creating make the band a constant joy to behold.
So what have they rolled out so resplendently for us this time you ask? Fifteen tracks of most excellent acid tinged creativity opening with the guitar driven, mellotron soaked hook laden pop perfection of Slow that bursts out of the speakers in breathless pandemonium. Greg Curvey and Mark Lofgren seem to have a bottomless well of melodies to call upon and as always there’s not a single moment of weakness or filler in the song department. While the band never shirk from the psychedelic riches we love then for, there is a progressive detail to the musicianship that subtly grows with each album as they challenge themselves to complex detailed playing of the highest order. Most noticeably this time around in the inclusion of a number of swirling and building instrumentals that pepper proceedings throughout. Normally this might cause a slight worry that the creative caravan is starting to slow down and that they couldn’t quite muster enough songs this time around. But of course this is The Luck of Eden Hall so there was already a full album of song-writing prowess in the can before Curvy and co decided to add these instrumentals to give The Acceleration Of Time adding bonus heft into the weave with effortless success. What a wonderful listen this brilliant album is from start to finish. The Luck of Eden Hall are a truly classic combo to take to your heart and never let go.
As ever head over to choose your format, dowenload. cd, pop up cover cd or double vinyl…each and everyone a surefire collectors item soon enough
Jay Strange (United Kingdom), June 2016
Art Into Dust
Here Comes The Flood
The Luck of Eden Hall: The Acceleration of Time
Chicago neo-psychedelic rock band The Luck of Eden Hall have been around sine 1989. They never made it big, but their cult favorite status is undisputed. The new double album The Acceleration of Time pays tribute to the sprawling concept albums of yore, with lush guitars, plenty of echo on the vocals, the warm sound of the mellotron and a rhythm section with an uncanny gift for melodic fills.
This an album on which time, the main theme, is captured in song and production values of yesteryear: tapes played backwards in the prog rock instrumental You Asked About Water On Mars, the panning effects in Channel 50 Creature Feature, the call-and-response vocals and bubbling keyboards in the angry stomper The Happiness Vending Machine (bonus points if you can name all the nods to Pink Floyd in this one), and swirling washes of mellotron throughout.
The band’s composer Gregory Curvey had a vision for a longform piece of music and with the aid of his collaborators he turned it into a multifaceted, technicolor reality. The Acceleration of Time is a trip that will end up in the upper regions of many “Best of 2016” lists. Recommended if you like King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel-era Genesis. Liquid slides not included.
Hans Werksman (Netherlands), May 2016
Here Comes The Flood
The Luck of Eden Hall – The Acceleration of Time
The Acceleration of Time is the new album by US based The Luck of Eden Hall and is to be released on double LP on the 1th of June by Headspin Records. The band will do a limited edition CD version with VERY special hand-made pop-up cover as well as a standard CD version. These masters of melodic, catchy and highly effective psychedelic pop/rock have created yet another masterpiece with 19 songs. We have already heard two of the songs on last year’s magnificent The Happine$$ Vending Machine / Arthropoda Lepidoptera single, check out my review over here. As you might have guessed, the loose theme on this somewhat sci-fi oriented album is time.
The album kicks off with “Slow”, and you immediately know you will love this album. I really enjoy the combination of psychedelic guitars, groovy rhythm section & lush Mellotron layers plus the excellent vocals. Wonderful! “Blown to Kingdom Come” is another killer psych pop/rock track. Wow, the solo guitar just soars through your brain… “A Procession Of Marshmallow Soldiers Across The Clockwork Pudding” is a very enjoyable instrumental, and the title track a beautiful, bit shoegaze styled number with an amazing atmosphere and wonderful melodies. “Channel 50 Creature Feature” is a bit progressive instrumental with some more superb solo guitar work. “Arthropoda Lepidoptera” still sounds as beautiful and emotional as last year, what a marvelous piece. “The Family Timekeeper” sort of brings to mind The Beatles, “You Asked About Water On Mars”, the third instrumental, has a weird intro and then we get a bit heavier boogie stuff and also some whimsical, experimental stuff that makes you smile… These guys must have listened to The Dukes of Stratosphere. Cool! “Only Robots Can Search The Deep Ocean Floor” is next and a bit more atmospheric and chilled-out. Then it’s time for some fast rocking with “Another High Speed Blowout”, but there are also some progressive, early Yes styled elements in there. The single track “The Happine$$ Vending Machine” is one of the catchiest for sure and makes you shake your booty. “Twelve” is next, and it’s another nice song, this time with some laid-back, orchestrated stuff in the middle (well, Mellotron anyway). “White Caps In The Wind” is the dreamy, long, epic instrumental ballad of the album and definitely one of the highlights for me. Phew, still two more songs… “The Saints Are Quiet Above Us” is a mellow song with soft, almost whispered vocals. I’m somehow reminded of early 90s Sun Dial! The album is finished with the brilliant psych pop number “A Man Of Conservative Style” that has a odd intro and some wild sax. What a wonderful, highly enjoyable album once again, be sure to get a copy!
DJ Astro (Finland), May 2016
Wild Thing Magazine
Editor’s Pick – 5 Stars!
Time, the psychedelic dimension of life. Something that is and at the same time is not there, that speeds up and slows down or even goes in circles. Who knows? Is it a dream or is it “reality”? Everything is in our mind anyway – as long as our mind works … Analyzing everything from the perspective of time one ends up in a monotonous manner having odd thoughts. For example: if rocks or ancient trees were beings like us, they would certainly be gods, because they travel across huge temporal distances during their lifespan and hence from their perspective they move at astronomical velocity, while we see them as inanimate! The new album of Chicagoan psychedelic maestros The Luck of Eden Hall deals with the concept of time; in fact the acceleration of time and as I sufficiently explained (methinks), this in art is achieved by creating perennial works (haven’t you understood that already?). From my perspective of course I can not see ahead so as to know how time will treat ‘The Acceleration of Time’, nor can I help significantly in shaping its lifespan. All I can do is connect my own time – whatever time I still have left anyway – to it. This, I think, is something I can do: I never give five stars to a record for public relations purposes… ‘Acceleration’ has all what, after decades of involvement in rock music (in a lot of different ways), I expect from any record that is to be added to my collection (as my place is packed with shelves and available space has been to me a critical issue for a while now). Let me explain: it’s a cottage industry music masterpiece made by people who are not just devotees and hip, but who also have something remarkable to say from an artistic viewpoint – which is extremely rare nowadays – and in this respect resemble several cases of the largely misunderstood by most “muslim neophytes” of the punk generation golden age of progressive rock. Psychedelic pop diamonds in between instrumental walks in ornate prog soundscapes, the same idea (concept) running through the whole work, four non-stop vinyl sides of high musical enjoyment and a stunning cover. What else can you ask? Ultra-must!
John Joes (Greece), May 2016
Wild Thing Magazine
Strange Things Are Happening
The Luck of Eden Hall – The Acceleration of Time
Er……..wow!…….after a recording career spanning over 25 years, Chicago’s psychedelic elder statesmen The Luck of Eden Hall have surpassed any of their previous records and have come up with an album, The Acceleration Of Time, which must be regarded as their finest to date. Falling somewhere between early 70s Prog Rock and full blown headswirling Psychedelic Rock, this record really should carry some kind of warning……… exposure to TLoEH’s sprawling double album masterpiece will most certainly lead to a seriously blown mind. Mixing up authentic vintage sounds (there is an absolute ton of lush, sweeping Mellotron on this record) with a modern Psych Rock sheen TLoEH have crafted a very Proggy wide screen vista with plenty of off kilter psychedelic moments that both “Classic Rock” purists and wild eyed psychonauts will love to bits…………it’s Yes, mid-period Floyd, King Crimson etc. etc. stripped of any pretentious musical over indulgence with an abundance of added kick-ass Rock ‘n’ Roll attitude.
It’s about time…….The Luck Of Eden Hall’s vaguely conceptual new record charting how time appears to speed up during the passing of the years opens with ‘Slow’, a peel of chiming/ticking clocks leading into a squall of swirling guitar and dreamy keyboard swell which sounds not unlike a third cousin, twice removed, of the lead track from the Dukes Of Stratosphear’s seminal mid 80s 25 O’Clock EP. One thing you really notice with this record compared to previous TLoEH albums is that keyboards are far more prominent than before…………The Acceleration Of Time is full of old school analogue keyboards sounds which give the tunes greater depth and texture, from bubbling synths intertwining with soaring guitar to gorgeous Mellotron washes which come to the fore on the epic Prog Rock inspired instrumentals on this album. ‘A Procession Of Marshmallow Soldiers Across The Clockwork Pudding’ is a classic 70s Prog/Psych style instrumental where synths and guitars twist around each other in a spiralling mad dance while ‘Channel 50 Creature Feature’ is a near 10 minutes of gently drifting, Floyd-esque alien soundscaping interspersed with bursts of furious guitar noise. This is possibly the most sonically adventurous and expansive album that TLoEH have recorded, another long instrumental track, the absolutely stunningly atmospheric ‘White Caps In The Wind’ where totally beautiful sweeping Mellotron wash combines with wonderfully understated guitar playing for that perfect headphone moment, allowing the band to stretch out and explore the dynamics of the tune and they are not afraid to get their weird on with ‘You Asked About Water On Mars’ TLoEH adding a strange little Wendy/Walter Carlos Clockwork Orange/Switched On Bach interlude into what is effectively a mad 70s Glam stomper………as well as fitting into the theme of the record, a bit of a Bowie tribute maybe?????
Those of you already familiar with The Luck of Eden Hall will instantly recognise the overdriven crunching guitars and solid backbeat of ‘Blown To Kingdom Come’………..as well as wide screen, panoramic 70s Progressive Rock inspired tunes, The Acceleration Of Time also has more than its fair share of grandiose Psychedelic Rock tunes that TLoEH are known for which combines the Power Pop sugar rush of bands like the Raspberries with the twisted psychedelia of the 60s, with tracks like ‘The Happiness Vending Machine’ coming on like Cheap Trick on a drug bender. This is a seriously impressive record full of dark and shade but also massively uplifting………..by spreading over four sides of vinyl TLoEH have taken the opportunity to use this extended canvas to really expand sonically, from the symphonic thrash of ‘Another High Speed Blowout’ through the beautifully lush ‘Arthropoda Lepidoptera’ and ‘Only Robots Can Search The Deep Ocean Floor’ to the gentle psychedelia of ‘The Saints Are Quiet Above Us’ they show what can be achieved in the studio with great ideas, a fair bit of dedication and expert musical chops…………….God, we wish that all Prog/Psych albums were like this, however TLoEH seem to have an edge on many younger bands through their greater depth of musical knowledge and life experience……….let’s say that a bit more………er……..’maturity’ will always trump a shelf full of Harry Potter books and Muse albums when you are putting an album together about the progression of time. This truly remarkable album closes with the wigged out ‘A Man Of Conservative Style’ where TLoEH throw in the psychedelic kitchen sink adding layers of strange to an already berserk Psychedelic Pop number………you really need to check this record. The Luck of Eden Hall may have single-handedly fully restored the tarnished reputation of the concept album with this latest release…………it’s like Tales Of Topographic Oceans never happened (how we wish that was true). It’s only May but we think we have found our favorite record of 2016. The bar has been set incredibly high and it’s going to take a work of near genius for us to change our minds.
The Acceleration Of Time is due for release on June 1st and is available in several formats to pre-order now. The limited edition of 500 2 x vinyl version is released on the Dutch label Headspin Records and is available to order via Clear Spot, the usual reputable outlets and The Luck of Eden Hall’s Bandcamp page https://theluckofedenhall.bandcamp.com/. It comes in two versions………250 copies on white vinyl and for those of you that think coloured vinyl records don’t sound very good there are 250 copies available on black vinyl.
Along with a regular CD release, there is a limited edition of 100 CDs with hand crafted pop-up cover available from TLoEH Bandcamp page where you can also purchase the digital download. Keep ‘em peeled for further TLoEH releases this year……..a single ‘The End of The Lane’ (a song inspired by Neil Gaiman’s book Ocean at The End of The Lane, with original cover art by Mr. Gaiman himself) will be available as part of the Mega Dodo Records Singles Club and TLoEH Live At The Cromlech will be out on Fruits de Mer Records sometime soon…….Dig it People.
Thee Psychedelicatessen (Earth), May 2016
Strange Things Are Happening
Sit Down Listen Up
It’s About Time You Heard The Luck of Eden Hall
As a genre of rock, psychedelic music has provided a treasure trove of resources since its beginnings in the 1960s. The word is derived from the hallucinogenic drugs, advocated by a number of writers in the 1950s and ’60s, most notably Timothy Leary, for their ability to expand one’s mind and raise one’s consciousness. The proliferation of these mind-altering drugs, especially LSD, within the youth culture of the ’60s and most especially in the world of rock music, led to a style of music that attempted to recreate, or at least enhance, the experience of the drug.
It has been a genre embraced by numerous musicians of significantly diverging stripes over the years. Oftentimes the word is simply attached to an already existing category to create a more specific subgenre; hence, we get psychedelic folk, psychedelic pop, psychedelic soul, etc. At the heart of all psychedelic music though, is a desire to transport the listener, take them to a new plane, and to enhance the listening experience. For some, psychedelic music is extended jams, feedback, modal shifts and delays, or perhaps, backward tape effects, synthesizers, harpsichords and Indian instruments like the sitar and tabla. For others the focus may be more with the whimsical and pastoral and the conjuring of images of velvet and paisley. In effect, psychedelic music can be as musically broad as is its aim to expand one’s mind. In other words, it comes in colors.
Over the years psychedelic music has fallen in and out of favor in terms of popularity, but there seems to never have been a shortage of musicians embracing the style and adding new a twist on it. It was a major link to progressive rock and you can hear elements of it in other styles throughout the ’70s. It is there in the glam rock of Bowie and T-Rex, it’s all over the post punk sound of Echo & The Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, Robyn Hitchcock and so many more. In the United States in the early 1980s the influence was even defined as neo-psychedelic with the Los Angeles movement dubbed the Paisley Underground featuring bands like The Rain Parade, The Bangles and Dream Syndicate. Throughout the ’90s and through today a slew of indie bands continue exploring the genre. The Flaming Lips, Spacemen 3, Neutral Milk Hotel, Of Montreal, Super Furry Animals, the list goes on and on, and all of them add a slightly new ingredient to the mix.
One band that has been mining this genre for many years with little acknowledgement is a band out of Chicago called The Luck Of Eden Hall. Initially formed in the early ’90s then put on hiatus for a number of years before reconvening in the early part of the new century, The Luck Of Eden Hall have been consistently putting out one remarkable record after another and while fame and notoriety seemed to elude them at each turn, it may be that with their new record, The Acceleration Of Time, greater recognition is at hand.
The Luck Of Eden Hall is led by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Greg Curvey with a steady input of equally strong songwriting from bassist Mark Lofgren. Think Colin Moulding’s input to Andy Partirdige’s in XTC. The Acceleration Of Time is an ambitious work covering four LP sides and more than 75 minutes of glorious technicolor dreamscapes. The album kicks off with the magnificent “Slow,” a fabulous dizzying swirl of strong riffs and soaring guitars blended with some fantastic classic sounding mellotron. The crunch and ringing guitars continue on “Blown To Kingdom Come,” leading into the fantastically titled Wonderland-like next track “A Procession of Marshmallow Soldiers Across The Clockwork Pudding.” As on the previous track, Curvey plays all the instruments here, demonstrating not only a great prowess on a number of instruments but an incredibly adept hand at recording an instrumental track that is filled with cinematic scope and range. The title track that follows is by Lofgren and is a downright beautifully melodic slice of grand psychedelic pop recalling something from Mercury Rev. All of this and we’re only at the end of side A.
Over the next three sides the band takes us on a journey through time and color. In fact, time is a pervasive theme throughout the album. Of the 15 songs on the album, at least 8 tracks contain references to time. There is the constant movement of time heading forward, going backward, speeding up or slowing down; its ceaselessly shifting mode keeping things unsteady, uncertain and unsettled. The distorted and hazy “Twelve” tells a tale of a life in 12 hours. In “A Man Of Conservative Style,” a woman “found a one-way trip back through time,” while on “The Family Timekeeper,” a special mantelpiece clock holds a certain fate.
Lyrically the band fits perfectly within the psychedelic milieu. For instance, on the song “Arthropoda Lepidoptera,” another gorgeously melodic and haunting tune, the song opens with the line “She is the one with the peach blossom tangled surprise,” which sounds like the sort of words that could’ve been written by Syd Barrett. And like many great psychedelic offerings, there are plenty of wonderfully catchy hook-laden tunes that stay with you long after the songs ends. One such song is “The Happiness Vending Machine.” With its fuzzed-out bass riffing along and the cynical lyrical claims of all the things money can bring you, this tune could’ve easily been a charting success in another era.
In many ways the music on the entire album is a magical distillation of the varied psychedelic sounds through the ages. It’s all synthesized beautifully together creating a special mix of sound and color. The Luck Of Eden Hall not only deserve your attention, they have earned it. The Acceleration Of Time is a tremendous accomplishment whose brilliance shines at every turn. It’s about time you heard The Luck Of Eden Hall.
Jim Laugelli (USA), April 2016
Sit Down Listen Up
The Luck of Eden Hall-The Acceleration of Time
Another band that just seems to get better with every new release, Chicago’s Luck of Eden Hall’s latest is a majestically sprawling leviathan – two slabs of vinyl that kick off with a song called “Slow”… which is, of course, anything but. Nailed by spacey organ and insistent riffery, it tips its hat to the band’s traditional corralling in the proggy-psych bag, but quickly kicks its way out of that as well, because you could as easily align the Luck with a missing link betwixt Big Star and Blur, as raise any of the more familiar old canards.
This is especially apparent on the frantic “Blown to Kingdom Come”… which is as tumultuous as its title… while the delightfully titled “A Procession of Marshmallows” is the kind of chiming instrumental that makes you want to do something cinematically heroic (probably involving mountain climbing), while the audience cheers the screen. And there’s not a marshmallow in sight.
There are, however, more movie references, as “Channel 50 Creature Feature” steps indeed out of the same kind of mindset that has you sitting up all night watching old time horror B’s, all churning guitars and smash’n’grab percussion; while “You Asked About Water On Mars” finally allows some Floydian atmospheres into the room, before sending massed guitars out to chase them away, because there’s a toytown melody just itching to take a bow.
It’s a weird little piece to be sure, and three minutes goes by much too quickly (the acceleration of time indeed). But everything awaiting on the other side is just as enthralling as what’s gone before, from the sweetly harmonic “Only Robots Can Search The Deep Ocean Floor” to the frenetically well-named “Another High Speed Blowout.”
And all leading up to a closing salvo that is as powerful as any Eden Hall have ever unleashed – the gently escalating bolero that is “White Caps in the Wind”; the supremely calming “The Saints are Quiet Above Us”; and, finally, “A Man of Conservative Style,” which sounds like three great pop songs playing at once, and each is one of your favorites.
It’s an ambitious album, but you expected that – Eden Hall waxings are seldom anything less. But (again, as usual), the ambition knows exactly how it needs to be fulfilled, and across four sides and fifteen songs, one suspects that the band may soon need to change their name. There’s no luck whatsoever involved in this record; this is the Brilliance of Eden Hall.
Dave Thompson (USA), April 2016
The Luck of Eden Hall-The Acceleration of Time
Chicago’s The Luck of Eden Hall have been playing and recording their special brand of psychedelia for almost 30 years now. They have a respectable discography of nearly 30 releases, especially considering they were inactive for almost 10 years (1997-2006). And their newest album, The Acceleration of Time, is perhaps their best release ever, from the psychedelic cover art swirl of pocket watches and the time vortex on the deluxe edition to the 15 excellent songs and instrumentals. Running through out the disc are themes from H.G. Well’s The Time Machine, Pink Floyd’s “Time,” and The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love.” The Acceleration of Time is pure sci-fi psych ’n roll. The disc opens and closes with clock sounds and chimes, that also appear occasionally throughout the disc. This time around the band gives us a tasteful mix of songs and six incredible instrumental tracks. The unifying link is the Mellotron and excellent guitar work. And as a sign of maturation, the music is not your normal I-VI-V-I chord sequence and simple melodies. Many of the tracks are complex compositions taking the listener through various moods, from the energetic to the sublime. The music is pure Eden Hall, but I detect some nods to The Byrds on “The Family Timekeeper,” a bit of a reference to Jimi Hendrix’ “Third Rock from the Sun” on “Channel 50 Creature Feature,” and Pink Floyd’s “Lucifer Sam” bass riff on “The Happiness Vending Machine.” The entire listening experience is so outstanding, I find it difficult to single out specific favorite tracks. So by all means, grab a copy of this disc for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.
Henry Schneider (USA), April 2016
Gew Gaw Fanzine
The Luck of Eden Hall, The Acceleration of Time
New album from my fave TLOEH, double vinyl 250 white and 250 black vinyl!!! Here, they continue to offer their amazing songs with great melodies, wrapped in pop moods on exciting guitars and the most of their psychedelic influences! 15 songs this time where among them there are many gems!! Slow has great guitar and a mellotron which is totally magic, the A Procession of Marshmallow Soldiers Across the Clockwork Pudding (what a title !!!) is the first of several instrumentals contained here and is an out of any description beautiful track, Channel 50 Creature Feature is a nearly 10 minute instro with many psychedelic passages mainly in the middle where the guitar explodes in my mind, the unbelievable Arthropoda Lepidoptera, the dynamic instro Another High Speed Blowout, the also instro and probably the most psychedelic track of the album, the 8-minute White Caps in the Wind, the sweet pop of The Saints are Quiet Above Us and of course the same name of the album title, The Acceleration of Time, which in my opinion includes exactly the sound which represents this talented band! Sunny psych/pop!!! After I have heard several times I can say that The Acceleration Of Time is their best and their most inspired release!
George Parkou (Greece), March 2016
Gew Gaw Fanzine
Good Stuff #27
The Luck of Eden Hall – The Acceleration of Time (Headspin Records)
The psychedelic group from Chicago returns with a new album, ninth and this time dealing with the Year. The well-oiled time machine music of Greg Curvey recalls thirty years of experience realizing that moves endlessly in a magic circle, a recurring psychedelic dream – like Alice in Wonderland – but every time exploring the Dreamland is more exact and mature and creates a stronger sense thaploris. Some song titles: “A Procession of Marshmallow Soldiers across the Clockwork Pudding”, “Only Robots Can Search the Deep Ocean Floor”, “You Asked about Water on Mars” and – I think – you came to the point. The psychedelic gem of the year?
The Sunday Experience
The Luck of Eden Hall
Been a while, in fact too long by our reckoning or likening, that the Luck of Eden Hall visited upon our sound player. A new single ‘the end of the lane’ is due to emerge on the esteemed mega dodo imprint while pencilled in for June celebrations a new double platter full length ‘the acceleration of time’ is due to land. Available in many variants, the obvious eye catching treats for collectors and fans alike being the coloured wax gatefold and the dogs doodah’s’ ultra-limited pop up CD – both sure to be the cause of purchase frenzy when they eventually appear. For now, the band has unveiled a little taster of what’s to come in the shape of ‘slow’ and posting of the entire C side of the set, the former opening to the ticking turn of a cosy toed vintage carriage clock, giving it the warming Victoriana glow of HG Wells’ ‘time machine’ wherein without warning everything fractures and melts in an instant and before you know it you’re swiftly swirling down the hallucinogenic rabbit hole upon a technicolour magic carpet gliding fast and ever deeper into the mind’s eye, the images and sounds merging to one, evaporating, reforming and dissipating amid the tangy sugar burst of kaleidoscopic sprays and fuzzy flotillas of trip-a-delic bliss bathed bubbles. Annoyingly we’ve lost the original posting by Mr Curvey commenting on the sidelong nugget that swoons the grooves of side C – a 19-minute head expander which dare we say finds the Eden Hall-ers skirting into classic era Electric Light Orchestra territories, a four cut odyssey that incorporates tracks 9-12 and includes the Floyd-esque freak beat growler ‘happiness vending machine’ which we first encountered way back in the midst of 2014 (see https://marklosingtoday.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/the-luck-of-eden-hall-2/ ). Somewhere else ‘only robots can search the ocean floor’ catches the band mellowed in thoughtful lovelorn affection, beautified, enigmatic and sheened in the ethereal as it blossoms into lush progian dream weaved. Frantic, frazzled and fried ‘another high speed blow out’ mainlines into old school Porcupine Tree worlds while ‘twelve’ is pure XTC psych alt heads the dukes of stratosphear Phew! http://theluckofedenhall.bandcamp.com/album/the-acceleration-of-time
Mark Barton (United Kingdom), March 2016
The Sunday Experience
The Strange Brew
The Luck of Eden Hall-The Acceleration of Time
Take a read… “The years of looking backwards time; the hours of looking forwards time. Your mantelpiece clock has nearly run down and there is no way to wind it again. Yesteryear is yesterday, as if the last thirty years were one long dream.” I’m straight into The Luck of Eden Hall’s ‘The Acceleration of Time’ long player!
Opener ‘Slow’ kicks off with carriage clocks into a “I Had Too Much To Dream’ style rocker, conversely propelling the listener down the rabbit hole at dizzying speed. ‘A Procession Of Marshmallow Soldiers Across The Clockwork Pudding’ is the psych song you’ve had pounding around in your head for years but slips away as you enter the waking realm. ‘Arthropoda Lepidoptera’ then continues this theme with a powerful edge. ‘White Caps In The Wind’ floats the listener away building to a crescendo over an eight minute trip. Closer ‘A Man Of Conservative Style’ brings Bowie, pop-psych, The Who and indie rock into a bloody great five and a half minutes. A hugely ambitious double album by Chicago’s finest.
Out 1 June, pre-order now in the formats: digital, limited Edition Double Vinyl LP, CD and (flying off the shelves) Limited Edition Pop-Up CD:
Watch out this summer for ‘The End of The Lane’ 7″ on Mega Dodo Records plus ‘The Luck of Eden Hall Live at the Cromlech LP’ on Fruits de Mer Records.
Jason Barnard (United Kingdom), March 2016
The Strange Brew
7th Level Music
The Luck of Eden Hall-The Acceleration of Time
Chicago’s The Luck of Eden Hall (Greg Curvey, Mark Lofgren, Carlos Mendoza, Jim Licka) have decided that everyone needs to groove out more in these crazy, hectic times, so why not double your groove dose with a double album – The Acceleration of Time?
The album starts with bell chimes that become something like a warning klaxon until we’re dropped into “Slow” – a solid rocker with prog-rock guitar and vocals that remind me of King Missile if King Missile decided to rock out more. “Blown to Kingdom Come” ups the reverbed vocals a bit and has more killer drum fills than I can count. It also has a damn catchy melody that gets your toes tapping.
“A Procession of Marshmallow Soldiers Across the Clockwork Pudding,” an instrumental, is the best title to a psych-rock song I’ve heard all year. I love bands that include instrumental cuts, and this one has soaring guitar work from Curvey.
The title track appropriately starts with a ticking clock that becomes weird piano you might hear in a haunted saloon. It has heavy George Harrison and Tom Petty influences that work well. The whole song crackles and is a fine showcase for the band.
“Channel 50 Creature Feature” is a favorite, as I grew up a “monster kid” watching such programs. It doesn’t have a lot of creepy organ or Theremin like you might expect. It has the sound and feel of an epic Frank Zappa jazz track. Imagine something you’d hear at a late night chill-out party in Klaus Kinski’s house and you’ll get the idea.
The guitars on “Arthropoda Lepidoptera” soar like the butterflies in its namesake. “The Family Timekeeper” continues the theme of time and the perception of it. The drums tap out a clock-hand beat and the guitars have this weird jangly sound that slips into a nice alt-rock riff between verses. “You Asked About Water on Mars” is appropriately spacey (the synths) and cosmic (the guitars).
“Only Robots Can Search the Deep Ocean Floor” follows it. “We’re empty vessels. In the end, it’s all for naught. Some find love, some find luck, some lose touch,” Curvey sings. If only robots can search things we can’t reach, we can at least search deep into ourselves if we brave the journey.
“Another High Speed Blowout” starts off sounding like a New Pornographers track with its groovy beats and growing synths, until it goes from a rolling boil to a simmer and lulls you into a warm trance. “The Happiness Vending Machine” is great power pop and about the benefits and (mostly) hazards of money. Hard-hitting bass combines with slightly fuzzy guitars and rock drumming. It’s an instant hit.
The twelfth track is appropriately named, “Twelve.” The song takes us from noon to midnight as a couple deals with what appears to be a relationship that is turning into a boring routine. Can they break the monotony and save each other, and will they have the same battle the next day?
“White Caps in the Wind” is over eight minutes of lush dream pop. Flute (or flute-like synths, I’m not sure which) floats along as more clockwork guitar guides you like the wind mentioned in the title. “The Saints Are Quiet Above Us” is something you hear in a dream while sleeping in a desert lodge with the window open and sandalwood-scented air blows over you. The closer, “A Man of Conservative Style,” has crazy Beefheart saxophone, strangely syncopated vocals, and more good guitar work from Curvey, who has convinced me he’s one of the best unheralded guitarists out there right now.
This is one of the best psychedelic rock records I’ve heard all year. It succeeds on all fronts: psych, power pop, dream pop, prog-rock, and alt-rock. The Acceleration of Time is so good that it seems to go by too fast for a double album, which is only fitting for its title. The album alters your perception of time and the world around you while you listen to it.
Keep your mind open.
Nik Havert (USA), March 2016
7th Level Music
Cancion de la semana: ‘Twelve’
A raíz de los atentados de París del mes pasado, los responsables del sello neozelandés The Active Listener se embarcaron en una febril campaña de llamadas telefónicas y correos electrónicos que ha acabado fructificando en Nous sommes Paris, un espléndido recopilatorio de treinta y cinco canciones cuyos beneficios están destinados a la Cruz Roja francesa. “Algunas veces este tipo de cosas no pueden, y no deberían, ignorarse”, argumentan los responsables de la discográfica, que también es un blog especializado en psicodelia y terrenos colindantes, como las bandas sonoras de cine de terror o la library music. En el listado del álbum, con abundante material inédito, aparecen cortes de artistas tan conocidos (en ciertos ambientes, claro) como Courtney Barnett o Cornershop: estos, por cierto, han estado a punto de convertirse en canción de la semana, porque su versión de los Animals (bueno, de Shirley & Lee) da muy buen rollo y porque me he quedado asombrado al comprobar que, con lo que me gustan, no han aparecido jamás en esta sección. Escuchen la canción aquí, en cualquier caso.
Porque al final se han llevado el gato al agua los señores abrigados de la foto de arriba, que son unos artistas más cercanos al espíritu habitual de The Active Listener. A lo mejor ustedes no han oído hablar nunca de The Luck Of Eden Hall, y no seré yo quien les culpe, porque me veo en las mismas, a pesar de que el grupo de Chicago tiene una trayectoria dilatadísima. Funciona desde finales de los 80, nada menos, y echa raíces más lejos todavía: a mí me ha llamado mucho la atención leer que su líder participó en un proyecto junto al batería de los primeros Ministry, que son paisanos pero no parecen tener mucho que ver estilísticamente. En fin, el caso es que The Luck Of Eden Hall son unos hechiceros de la psicodelia pop que llevan más de un cuarto de siglo produciendo temas tan perfectos y tan deslumbrantes como este Twelve que han cedido para Nous sommes Paris, adelanto de su próximo álbum. Qué guitarras, qué melodía, qué arreglos, qué todo. Ah, si son recién llegados a su mundo como yo, a lo mejor les intriga el nombre como me ha pasado a mí: resulta que la Suerte de Edenhall o de Eden Hall es un famoso vaso policromado que se fabricó en Siria en el siglo XIV y se exhibe desde hace noventa años en el Victoria And Albert Museum de Londres. Según la leyenda que lo acompaña, se lo dejaron olvidado unas hadas al ser sorprendidas durante una fiesta, quizá mientras bailaban este Twelve de consistencia mágica.
Carlos Benito (Spain), December 2015
Wild Thing Magazine
The Happine$$ Vending Machine (Single)
The LoEH is many years the psychedelic-kept secret in Chicago. Having their origins back in the late 80s is one of the shapes that were lucky enough to catch a time when the term “psychedelia” even holding a substance (see. Figures like Plasticland, The Dukes of Stratosphear, The Bevis Frond etc.) and through the years have clearly gathered plenty of experience – like vintage effects – going so far as to produce lately one after another incredibly musical masterpieces that their rank comfortably among the substantial underground psychedelic bands of days us. Both sides of their new singles “The Happine $$ Vending Machine” / “Arthropoda Lepodoptra” not lacking in anything from their previous work showing that LoEH under no circumstances be treated as ‘psych rock’ band of the train, but more or less as a musical genius. It would be nice sometime to see them on stage in Athens, now began to come to Europe.
Laertis (Greece), September 2015
Wild Thing Magazine
Chicago’s psychedelic stalwarts colour up Glasgow
Venue: Nice’N’Sleazy, Glasgow Date of Gig: Friday 7th Aug ’15
Psychedelic Chicago stalwarts The Luck Of Eden Hall have been producing well-crafted, shimmering waves of multi-coloured joy since the late 80s.
It’s disappointing, then, to see so few people here, on an unusually sunny early August evening – especially as they were brought back to Europe on the back of a successful crowdfunding campaign.
And once they take the stage, it initially appears they’re facing even more obstacles, with Jim Licka bravely battling pesky gremlins which seem to have taken up residency in his hired Mellotron. Fortunately, his clearly visible frustration at having to work through these technical hiccups disappear, leaving him and his bandmates Greg Curvey, Mark Lofgren and Carlos Mendoza free to carve out a largely upbeat set to keep the faithful few enthralled.
Sassafras Overcoat, from 2013’s Victoria Moon album, is an early highlight with its huge riffs helping to get the evening back into a groove. It’s swiftly followed by the soaring keyboard atmospherics of Dandy Horse from the same album.
The splendid A Drop In The Ocean, from their 2011 double album Butterfly Revolutions, is equally impressive, with its chunky guitars and swirling space rock keyboard flourishes conjuring Hawkwind-shaped patterns.
The wistful and mellow tones of Blood On My Feet provides a welcome change of pace, giving the band room to catch their breath after an eventful start.
It’s still unclear if they’re actually enjoying the experience of their Scottish visit, with nods towards the crowd kept to the absolute minimum. You really can’t blame them if they’re not, having to play to a small venue not even close to being half full. But smiles eventually appear, as the band members share a few laughs, before they to kick it up a notch with the fabulous feelgood vibes of The Happiness Vending Machine. This perfectly showcases what The Luck Of Eden Hall are all about: slabs of meaty guitar, delicious meandering keyboards, and ridiculously catchy beats.
The trippy Drunk Like Shakespeare On Love then floats along on woozy late-night Mellotron strokes, before upping the pace for its conclusion, with Curvey squeezing out sharp notes from his suitably psychedelic six-string.
It’s a fairly short set – although no-one’s feeling short-changed at the end of it, with some new-found fans seemingly surprised how competent the band are. Let’s just hope they tell friends, so that next time The Luck Of Eden Hall have a few more people waiting for them. They deserve a bigger audience.
Scott Munro (United Kingdom), August 2015
Trust The Wizards
Listen in as Kicker of Elves plays some tunes and tells all about the 13th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival.
Disk Union-Rock Floor
★シカゴの現行サイケ・ポップ・アクトLUCK OF EDEN HALLの2013年作がアナログ化!
ギター・オリエンテッドなサニー・サイケ・ポップ・チューンにカラフルなフック、ネオ・サイケ的な青い質感と在りし日のインディーロック感で無二の個性を放ち続ける93年デビューの長寿バンド。60Sブリティッシュ・サイケ・アンダーグラウンドな”SUPER PHANTASMAL HEROINE”、BEATLES後期を思わせる”VICTORIA MOON”、マインド・ブロウイングな”THE HORRIBLE PILL BOOK”などなど飽きのこない一級のカルト・バンド名品です。
(Japan), October 2014
The Audiophile Man
Postcards From The Deep
I’ve always wondered at the sanity of Fruits de Mer but now I know that they are, in fact, completely sane. It’s everyone else who needs chucking in a loony bin. Why? Because they know how to get music fans/geeks/anoraks truly excited. I mean, 10 flexi-discs, 10 matching postcards and a CD in a clambox? Come one! If it was full of John Cage-like silence, I’d be tempted.
So, what have we got here? The set includes tracks from Psychotic Reaction’s The Luck Of Eden Hall (mean and nasty), The Loons’ Celestial Empire (lots of flashing lights but little substance); The Crawlin’ Hex’s I’m a Living Sickness (mind blasting and mind contrasting, it actually reminds me of some of the better cold wave experiments of the early 80s); The Thanes’ LSD (full of gimmicks – fun, poppy, noodly and about as filling as candyfloss); The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies’ Time Machine (a quite desperate vocal from a man who has five minutes to live. It’s the urgency…); The Past Tense’s Soul Fiction (ho and, indeed, hum); Schizo Fun Addict’s Take Heart (enough atmosphere to (re?)populate Mars, tour de force my arm up my back and made me listen); Crystal Jacqueline’s You Just Gotta Know My Mind (a derivative delivery of a better song); Astalasia’s Brainticket (you really feel the need to say ‘Man’ a lot when you listen to this one. And I mean, a lot. Lovely). Fibally Icarus Peel’s The Avengers’ Theme (a bit of a laugh, nothing more).
Great batting average for a compilation, though.
Paul Rigby (United Kingdom), November 2014
New Music Underground
Postcards From The Deep
Op de verzamel box “Postcards From The Deep”, die in een zeer gelimiteerde oplage van 700 stuks wereldwijd is uitgebracht, staan 10 nummers van 10 verschillende Britse bands en zijn bijna allemaal covers van bands uit de jaren zestig.
De nummers, die eerder verschenen op 10 7″ flexi’s, zijn nu in een box uitgebracht, die behalve de 10 7″ doorzichtige flexi’s ook 10 schitterende vierkante gekleurde ansichtkaarten (gemaakt door Mick Dillingham), een poster en een CD bevat.
De CD start met de garagerock song “Psychotic Reaction” van The Count Five, dat hier door The Luck Of Eden Hall uitgevoerd wordt en deze versie doet niet onder voor het origineel, hoewel ik hem iets minder ruig vind klinken.
Daarna krijg ik “Celestial Empire” van The Loons te horen, waarvan het origineel van Dragonfly uit Nederland komt en ook dit nummer is een schitterende uptempo garagerock versie van het nummer en wordt gevolgd door “I’m A Living Sickness”, een fantastische psychedelische song van The Crawlin’ Hex, die het origineel van Calico Wall hiermee eer aandoen.
The Thanes spelen een geweldige instrumentale uitvoering van de Pretty Things cover “LSD” en de psychedelische spacerock song “Time Machine” van Satori wordt door The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies op vakkundige wijze ten gehore gebracht. (luister naar een gedeelte van dit nummer via de youtube link onder de recensie)
In het nummer “Soul Fiction”, dat oorspronkelijk door The Hippies gespeeld werd, laten The Past Tense me een fantastische instrumentale uptempo mix van garagerock en soul horen en in “Take A Heart” van The Sorrows, die door The Schizo Fun Addict wordt uitgevoerd, hoor ik een moderne psychedelische versie van deze song, die new wave invloeden bevat.
Dan krijg ik de uitvoering van Dana Gillespie’s (door Donovan geschreven) “You Just Gotta Know My Mind” voorgeschoteld door Crystal Jacqueline en ook dit is een heerlijk swingende rock song, waarbij stil zitten geen optie is.
Brainticket bracht in 1971 het krautrock nummer “Brainticket” uit en Astralasia heeft dit nummer bewerkt tot een swingend licht psychedelisch progressief rock nummer met jazz invloeden, terwijl Icarus Peel me met zijn uitvoering van Laurie Johnson’s “The Avengers’ Theme” een geweldig swingend psychedelisch progressief instrumentaal nummer laat horen, die veel ruiger dan het origineel klinkt, maar toch herkenbaar blijft.
“Postcards From The Deep” is een geweldige CD, die vol staat met fantastische covers uit de sixties en de uitvoeringen door de bands, van deze tijd, klinken anno 2014 nog net zo sterk als de originelen uit de jaren zestig en ik kan deze box met toebehoren dan ook voor 100% aanraden aan liefhebbers van dit genre.
Cary’s Music Machine (Netherlands), November 2014
Postcards From The Deep
Now this is something special… Keith from Fruits de Mer had a crazy idea to put together a box set of post card singles (the ones that were produced in Poland in the 60s and in some other places even now…) with today’s bands covering raw freakbeat gems from the 60s. This proved to be a difficult task, so now we are getting ten one-sided flexi singles AND ten matching postcards instead! All art is by the very talented Mick Dillingham. Since the sound quality of the flexis still isn’t perfect, the cool box set also includes a CD of all the ten tracks. But since were are talking about the strange and wonderful Fruits de Mer land here where anything can and will happen, some of the versions on the CD differ from the ones on the flexis… This is also the 2015 of FdM, it’s just not called that. Confused yet? You should be.
Anyway, what we have here is ten marvelous, hard-hitting 60s freakbeat/garage psych/surf etc. tracks played by some of the best possible choices there are at the moment. The Luck of Eden Hall starts off the game with Count Five’s “Psychotic Reaction” and I don’t remember the band ever playing this raw, energetic and brutal sounding stuff. Get psyched up! The Loons do “Celestial Empire” by Dragonfly and this is excellent, authentic 60s garage psych stuff with rough fuzz guitars as well. The Crawlin’ Hex is a new band by Earthling Society’s Fred, and their rendition of “I’m A Living Sickness” (Calico Wall) is just as sinister and gloomy as you might expect from him. Superb! The instrumental “LSD” (The Pretty Things) sounds VERY 60s played by the The Thanes, what an excellent, lysergic job! Satori’s “Time Machine” gets a treatment by The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies and we are rocking and rolling in outer space. The Past Tense perform a raw and phased version of “Soul Fiction” (The Hippies), and Schizo Fun Addict’s version of The Sorrows song “Take a Heart” is pure early acid freakiness. Crystal Jacqueline brings us back to Earth a bit, but with a very nice touch with “You Just Gotta Know My Mind” (Dana Gillespie/Donovan). If you have ever wondered, what Brainticket’s organ-driven mind-fuck “Brainticket” might sound played by Astralasia, you will now find out… Just be careful not to loose your mind on the journey. Finally, Icarus Peel gives us a groovy and hard-rocking version of “The Avengers’ Theme” (Laurie Johnson) and I’m in fuzz psych heaven. Believe me, you need to get this box!
DJ Astro (Finland), November 2014
The Luck of Eden Hall: Victoria Moon/The Happine$$ Vending Machine
Okay, this excellent US psychedelic rock/pop band released their latest album as a limited CD edition a year ago already, but since Victoria Moon is just now also out on 2LP on Headspin Records in Europe this review is pretty current anyway. I don’t have the actual CD (but have ordered the limited 2LP of course!) but the digital download sounds just as good I’m sure. The band already delivered me some different mixes you could possibly have by pre-ordering the CD and there are some true gems in those as well… But let’s concentrate on the actual album.
The Luck of Eden Hall always have lots of great, catchy, Beatlesque melodies and on this album they seem to have exceeded themselves. In addition to the golden era of psych rock & pop they also take some influences from the 80s Paisley Underground scene and there’s even some modern (or 90s anyway) indie rock in there I think and other stuff as well. The album starts off with the inventive “Sassasfras Overcoat”, and the next, groovy track “Queen of the Stars” also has some sequencers to make it more powerful when needed. Great track with pretty cosmic lyrics! “Victoria Moon”, the title track begins in a very psychedelic, experimental way and is a soft, lovely but strange piece. “The Collapse of Suzy Star” is a melancholic, semi-acoustic sort-of-ballad that somehow reminds me of Beck. “Zap” is a short and energetic psych rocker, and “Sitting Bull” rocks fast too and has a lush, slower chorus with Mellotron sounds. “Drunk Like Shakespeare on Love” brings to mind The Green Pajamas in the 90s and “Dandy Horse” has rather heavy guitar sounds and a superb ending with “Hey Joe” chords. One of my favourites (although there really are no weak songs here!) is “Super Phantasmal Heroine” that really makes the cold shivers go though my spine, it’s just so marvelous! “Cracked Alice” has a peaceful beginning, but starts to rock out after one minute. The drums remind me of “Tomorrow Never Knows” by The Beatles and I’m sure it’s not a coinsidence… A nice little track! On “Blood On My Feet” the band gets in their melancholic mood again and I like it, especially with the Mellotrons. After the short but sweet “She’s Your Anodyne” it’s time for the album-closer “The Horrible Pill Book” that starts of with some amusement park sounds and then we’re in for some very nice psych rocking. What can I say, I just love everything about this band: the vocals, melodies, rhythm section, keyboards and synths and the superb guitar tones, solos and effects, just amazing!
If you want the CD you’d better hurry up since there are only around 20 copies left from the band’s Bandcamp site and I’m sure the limited vinyl editions will also sell pretty fast. This album is warmly recommended for everyone into melodic, inventive psych rock and pop!
If that wasn’t enough, the band also have a brand new digital single you can also get through their Bandcamp site. The title track “The Happine$$ Vending Machine” is a strong song about money that has some The Beatles vibes but there’s more. The second new song “Anthropoda Lepodoptra” is a dreamy, beautiful ballad with a twist and I love it too. I hope these will see the light of day on a 7″ as well!
DJ Astro (Finland), September 2014
The Luck of Eden Hall-Greatest Hits Vol. 1
Greatest Hits editions used to be popular in the 70s and 80s to help promote an artist and generate more sales. But I don’t recall seeing one for quite some time, until now. Based on the increased awareness of Chicago’s The Luck of Eden Hall by the music published by Fruits de Mer, New Zealand label Active Listener Records decided to release Greatest Hits Vol. 1, a release spanning 25 years, going back to the band’s early days in 1993, as well as including songs from 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, and most recently 2013. The result is a limited edition (200 copies) 14-track CD housed in a gatefold sleeve. The final two tracks, “Laugh Your Life Away” and “Sugar Coated Savior” are previously unreleased songs, which I am guessing date back quite a few years. What we have here is a wonderful collection of songs showing a band maturing from garage-status to a full-fledged neo-psych band. Along the way we are treated to trippy guitars, megaphone and otherwise distorted vocals, and Mellotron. Conspicuous in its absence are any of the songs released on Fruits de Mer. And with the type and quality of this music, you would not guess that they are from Chicago. Standout tracks are “Metropolis,” “Dandy Horse” a song about a bicycle, “Sassafras Overcoat” a truly 60s pop-psych song, “Chrysalide” a song that would have been played on the underground FM stations in the late 60s, “A Carney’s Delirium” with its delicate and distorted vocals, surreal ambiance, aggressive guitars, and excellent Mellotron ending, and finally “A Very Large Array” with a reversed prepared piano intro to a love song with radio astronomy metaphors. This last song combines elements of the Stones’ “2000 Light Years from Home” and the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus.” Greatest Hits Vol. 1 is a great place to start learning more about this band.
Henry Schneider (USA), September 2014
The Luck of Eden Hall-Victoria Moon
The Luck of Eden Hall initially released their seventh release Victoria Moon as a limited edition CD as a premium for their Kickstarter campaign in June 2013 to help fund their trip to the UK to perform at the first Fruits de Mer All Dayer concert in August 2013. Consequently that release has sold out. Now Dutch label Headspin Records will reissue Victoria Moon on vinyl this fall. This new edition will be a double gatefold sleeve with an eight-page book and a sticker. And there will only be 300 copies released, so it is another limited edition. The Luck of Eden Hall hail from Chicago and have been playing and recording their unique brand of pop-psych since 1993. They are Curvey (vocals, guitars, bass, theremin, synths, drum kit), Mark Lofgren (vocals, bass, guitar, synths), Carlos Mendoza (drums), and Jim Licka (Mellotron). Now, I am a bit uncertain as the correct contents of this reissue. The promo material lists the same 13 tracks as on the initial release, but the promo CD they sent contains an additional seven alternate mixes of some of the tracks. It is probably my ears, but the only difference I can tell with these alternate versions is that the sound is cleaner and the vocals are easier to understand. Two of the tracks, “Sassafras Overcoat” and “Dandy Horse,” appear on Greatest Hits, Vol. 1. Overall, Victoria Moon is a disc filled with their signature sound, and there are a number of standout tracks. The title track uses various sounds and effects, reversed tracks, sound bites, and megaphone vocals ala Sgt. Pepper to create a trippy mood piece. “Sitting Bull” is another song of note with its heavy driving beat. There is some very tasteful sustained guitar work, think Robert Fripp, on “Drunk Like Shakespeare on Love.” But the band really excels when they have a minimal approach to the music. The best track is “Blood on My Feet,” that alternates between guitar and Mellotron and evokes a Genesis vibe. Another song, “The Horrible Pill Book” with its carnival/calliope intro, evokes Steve Hackett’s Please Don’t Touch.
Henry Schneider (USA), August 2014
Sunrise Ocean Bender
The Luck of Eden Hall/The Happine$$ Vending Machine
Chicago’s The Luck of Eden Hall ready their new full-length for later this year with the single ‘The Happine$$ Vending Machine.’ Is it what you expect from them? Of course it is. Please and thank you. Punchy, frosted psych pop flaked with color and crunch that fits right in with their sizable box of candied nuggets they’ve been dropping for quite some time now. And that time gets them their due with an upcoming article in Shindig! Magazine celebrating 25 years in the psychodaisylollipop shoppe. It’s been a busy year, in and out of the LOEH camp, including a ‘greatest hits’ release from the esteemed The Active Listener, their last outing ‘Victoria Moon’ getting a wax job from Headspin Records, Curvey doing the soundtrack for the film ‘The Stream’ and Mark Lofgren releasing his first solo album.
Mr. Atavist (USA), August 2014
The Strange Brew Podcast
The Happine$$ Vending Machine
One of my favourite rock groups, Chicago’s The Luck of Eden Hall, follow up last year’s excellent Victoria Moon long player with a new single, the superb psych glam stomper ‘Happine$$ Vending Machine’.
Jason Barnard (UK), August 2014
Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages
The Luck of Eden Hall, Victoria Moon
1. Sassafras Overcoat 4:49
2. Queen of the Stars 3:46
3. Victoria Moon 3:24
4. The Collapse of Suzy Star 5:33
5. Zap 2:30
6. Sitting Bull 4:04
7. Drunk Like Shakespeare on Love 4:14
8. Dandy Horse 4:34
9. Super Phantasmal Heroine 4:13
10. Cracked Alice 3:36
11. Blood on My Feet 5:01
12. She’s Your Anodyne 2:36
13. The Horrible Pill Book 5:18
Mark Lofgren – vocals; bass; synthesizer
Gregory Curvey – vocals; guitars
Carlos Mendoza – drums
Jim Licka – Mellotron
Prolusion. The US band THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL has a history that can be traced back to the 80’s, with an initial cassette release in 1989 as their debut. While the band has been a bit of an on and off affair since these early days, from 2006 and onwards it has been a fairly stable one as far as creating and releasing new material go. “Victoria Moon” is their most recent studio production, and was self released by the band in 2013.
Analysis. The Luck of Eden Hall may well be a band not that well known, especially in their home base of USA, despite lots of praise being sent their way on regular occasions from all over the world. It may be a sign of the times that this is a band that by the help of fans managed to finance the cost of doing a small European tour, yet they don’t need to print more than a couple of hundred copies of their albums. The band made 300 copies of this specific CD, and at the time of writing there are still 40 copies left of it, presumably stacked somewhere in band leader Gregory Curvey’s home. If this band is known for anything it is for their consistency. Many years have passed since Smashing Pumpkins main man Billy Corgan described The Luck of Eden Hall as an excellent psychedelic rock band, and that description is just as true today as it was back then. This is a band that knows their 60’s psychedelic pop and rock, both the more easygoing and mainstream oriented as well as the harder edged variety often referred to as garage rock. They know their Beatles and The Who, most likely their Pink Floyd as well, but if I should hazard a guess these guys are probably more familiar with both lesser known and more well renowned bands from the late 60’s and early 70’s that had a penchant for the use of psychedelic details in their music. I suspect that you might add a slight touch of grunge to this as well, at least indirectly by way of the artists that inspired the grunge movement back in the 80’s giving The Luck of Eden Hall a slight touch of that specific sound at times. The end result is, as usual with this band, a high quality constellation of material. The songs rely just as much on harder edged rock comparable to the likes of The Who as they do to more accessible rock of the late 60’s and early 70’s, with the guitar the central instrument throughout and the main provider of the psychedelic textures that place this band firmly in the psychedelic rock segment. High quality drum patterns and clever bass lines support, with keyboards and the good, old Mellotron supplying further psychedelic details, cosmic sounding effects and some instantly likeable, richly textured Mellotron washes. The latter not that frequent a detail, but so effective when employed, on tracks like Sitting Bull and the superb, extremely English-sounding Dandy Horse. Curvey’s carefully controlled vocals, often with a slight distanced sounding expression, fit these surroundings perfectly, and with chorus sections with a high degree of sing-a-long quality to them, Super Phantasmal Heroine a good example of that, this albums flows along in a most compelling manner.
Conclusion. The Luck of Eden Hall may not be a band that will appeal strongly to those who listen exclusively to progressive rock, but if you have a taste for psychedelic rock as well as rock from the late 60’s and early 70’s in general this is a band that needs to be placed high on your list of artists to check out. “Victoria Moon” is as good a starting point as any other with this band. They are known for releasing consistently high quality material, and this CD is no exception.
Olav M Bjornsen (Norway), August 2014
The Luck of Eden Hall -Victoria Moon 2013 (CD Self Released)
Chicago based neo-psychedelic band has reached to a point that every new release guarantees the expected quality in sound, in composing, in performing. But, the big question here is where the heck Gregory comes with such lovely melodies? Maybe it’s just a combination of 3 facts. His over-25-years occupation with the music, his deep continuous search of the psych 60s along with what is going on inside his head! Amazing! “Victoria Moon’ is another brilliant pop-psych album! So, this self-released CD album consists of 13 original compositions. Guitar-oriented psych poppy sunny tunes like “Sassafras Overcoat”, “Queen of the Stars”, “Sitting Bull”, “Dandy Horse”, “Super Phantasmal Heroine” that sometimes flirt with the 60s British psych underground adding special psychedelically effected guitars like “Victoria Moon” (it could fit on an unreleased Beatles late 60s album!) or “The Collapse of Suzy Star” or “Drunk Like Shakespeare On Love”, or simply Mind-Blowing-Expanding Rockers like the closing “The Horrible Pill Book”. Chicago has it’s own Psychedelic Cult band, Can you Dig it?
Michalis Lagopatis (Greece), April 2014
The Luck of Eden Hall; Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (The Active Listener)
Another in The Active Listener Introduces . . . series, this one comes with an amusing title. This psych-pop outfit from Chicago may have been going for two decades but their “greatest hits” might not stretch to one side of a single.
However this 12 track collection pulled together by the band themselves — and drawing from all parts of that long history — is a very impressive introduction to a group that really has nailed down the late Sixties psych-vibe (with discreet nods to more expansive prog of the era as on the King Crimson-influenced Sister Strange and the Stuffed Furry Things).
They have melodies to burn (imagine if McCartney had taken as much acid as Lennon), bring buzzy guitars into play alongside up-close but gentle vocals, must know Rain/Abbey Road and pre-fame Pink Floyd inside out, and yet craft highly distinctive material of their own.
They can do some pedal-to-the-floor stuff to (the power pop of All Else Shall be Added Unto You has some real tension and adrenaline pounding through its four minutes), and some material dates back to when they had cello alongside those searing guitars.
There is ample musical diversity here (North Hampton Woods is an acoustic pastoral piece at the midpoint which breaks the dominance of electric guitars) and when they go for the epic — well, extending past four minutes on the excellent Madeline’s Voyage — they are just prog enough in their direction changes to keep your interest.
This is an astutely programmed collection and as an introduction to a band you’ve probably never heard of it is much recommended.
The Introduces . . . series really has done this band a favour with this opportunity to showcase itself.
Very good indeed.
Graham Reid (NZ), April 2014
Sunrise Ocean Bender
The Active Listener introduces The Luck of Eden Hall “Greatest Hits Vol. 1”
I’m biased because on this band-curated ‘introduction’ I got the one cut whose absence would have cause trouble down at City Hall. In the case of compilations and ‘greatest hits,’ that’s about as good as it gets. That’s just how it is. Given The Luck of Eden Hall‘s creamy and crunchy psych pop, it would be easy to pick a set of gems to spread across the running time almost like frosting. For The Active Listener Introduces The Luck of Eden Hall “Greatest Hits Vol. 1″, my version, I certainly would have picked different cuts. Would it be better? Absolutely not. It would be different, but still from an outsider’s perspective. Even though “Greatest Hits Vol. 1″ was put together by the band, they are fans as much as they are musicians, so it’s not an insider’s scoop either. It’s sort of that earlier dodged frosted smear between the two viewpoints. “Greatest Hits Vol. 1″ is a pretty loose collection for a pretty tight band that puts some not so obvious choices next to each other, playing up strengths and, depending on your perspective, pointing out some that may have been overlooked. Hanging onto last year’s Victoria Moon while reaching back to Belladonna Marmalade, you get 20 years worth of retrospective. With the added bonus of something other than your go-to picks. From Butterfly Revolutions through Victoria Moon there’d be a big temptation to put the spotlight on The Luck of Eden Hall’s psych-pop flourishes that coat a power-pop and chewy rock center. That’s two obvious sides to The Luck of Eden Hall that have always been there. With that string of albums next to the earlier outings, the biggest difference is really ratio. Mix them up together and how those two parts interact and work together is not only made clearer, but more interesting for the seasoned listener. For those who truly find this an introduction, then it’s as good a lure as any cold outsider could come up with. Having it appeal to both sides in a more balanced way may actually open up The Luck of Eden Hall box of sweets to even more sweet teeth. Other colors get their due when cuts like North Hampton Woods and Cinnamon Mary and Her Skeleton Cane make an appearance, showing a leaner candy-maker and the song base that is just as solid even when the psych-pop winds whips up on Dandy Horse and Sassafras Overcoat. Then there is Chrysalide … in my version, one of the most defining songs for The Luck of Eden Hall. Everything about them—the power chops, the psych embellishments … even the damn name of the song— come together in perfect ratio. But that’s my perspective … and there are more here than might seem obvious. For the recently introduced, it’s as solid as you’re going to get getting 20 years of albums and singles onto one disc. The core of the band, and the hooks, are here. For the veteran, there’s a fresher perspective than your own … from people you already trust. Taste-tested and approved.
Mr. Atavist (USA), March 2014
The Luck of Eden Hall – Victoria Moon
Chicago based The Luck of Eden Hall used to be one of psych’s best kept secrets. However recent excellent albums – Butterfly Revolutions Vol 1 and Alligators Eat Gumdrops – have seen them attract a growing following, a good chunk of which is in the UK. Latest epic, Victoria Moon, which confirms them as the only band on the planet influenced as much by the original ‘60s Nirvana as the Seattle mob that came along decades later, should win them some new following too. I can see a lot of psych heads falling for ‘Queen Of The Stars’, which combines a riff that’s pure ‘Teen Spirit’ with a wonderfully odd Barret esque chorus. It would make a great single.
It’s not all guitars pushing 11 either. There’s some serious vintage keyboards (and maybe even a Mellotron) on the excellent ‘Dandy horse’ (which also has a wonderfully bendy 1967-flavoured guitar riff) and the grungey work out of ‘Super Phantasmal Heroine’.
It sags a little in places but if you enjoyed their earlier stuff you’ll find plenty to love here.
Ashley Norris (UK), February 2014
JP’s Music Blog
CD Review: The Luck of Eden Hall Give Us Their Unique Brand Of Music With “Victoria Moon”
From Chicago comes the return of The Luck Of Eden Hall with a brand new album entitled “Victoria Moon.” The new album is packed with fresh new psychedelic, mind-bending sounds that The Luck Of Eden Hall have been working to perfect for the last 25 years.
The new album kicks off with the sixties pop style of “Sassafras Overcoat” as they begin their journey. The crazy mix of keyboards and Nirvana-grunge guitar on “Queen Of The Stars” gives the band’s music a more edgier rock sound, before turning around for the floating music notes of “Victoria Moon.” The effects-filled “Zap” is two-and-a-half-minutes of nostalgic pop with more aggressive instrument experimentation. The slow moving “Blood On My Feet” shows the delicate progress to their songwriting, before closing with the mind-bending rocker “The Horrible Pill Book.”
J. Pasinski (UK), January 2014
Record Collector Magazine
Various Fruits de Mer Records Live In London
Did you miss the All-Dayer, when a variety of Fruits’ bats took the stage to prove that the label isn’t a studio dream but the creation of living, breathing, drinking human beans? Here are four examples of the days magnificence wrapped in a Live At Leeds-style sleeve, looking as illicit as any bootleg. Jack Ellister and Stay’s self- written material works well; Ellister’s acoustic set was particularly impressive and Old South, heard here, was his most affecting offering. On the back it’s the Pink-Floyds-a-go-go with the mighty Sendelica substituting solar flares for inner light on the deep eastern psych of Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Buddha, and The Luck of Eden Hall rip through Lucifer Sam like a chainsaw through a snoozing feline. Proper psyche moderne. The catch is that you’ve got to be a Fruits de Mer member to get it.
Record Collector (UK), December 2013
Wild Thing Magazine
Victoria Moon Editor’s Pick
A year after the superlative impressions left us the previous album Alligators Eat gumdrops , the LOEH strike back the same – if not more – possible. Unfortunately we have run out of “stars” for this year’s Victoria Moon … cry so perfectly enlightened and sailing in seas high musical enjoyment “credo”!
H-style ‘the paisley underground meets the Plasticland , the Meat Puppets and the Dukes of Stratosphear and together make a splash in wonderland beyond lagotrypa “enlightened pop psychedelia of LOEH do not think that has something similar to the times we live in, when the Wild Thing awarding them deserved the crown of acid pop. All, but all – 13 in number – the magic bottles / songs of this year’s collection are separate artifacts that glow and pulsate stranger than good taste, clarity and shrewdness not to be repeated, but utilizing the unique mosaic of colorful puzzle that now, after 50 years, has been formed in the encyclopedia of psychedelic / progressive / art rock, without any belly, no useless growth – or touch – but with a great sense of economy but ensures the production of a sense of completeness and sound architecture view. All songs are automatically “classic” and few, if God existed, would be placed in singles (“Sassafras Overcoat”, “Queen of the Stars”, “Victoria Moon”, “Zap”, “Sitting Bull”, “Drunk Like Shakespeare On Love “,” Super Phantasmal Heroine “,” Cracked Alice “).
The LOEH deserve much more than being a small independent band or a “well kept secret”. You will find no Christian ever to help them do the marketing and distribution needed? (Pp. idolater and we do).
Joe Wildthing (Greece), December 2013
The Luck of Eden Hall -Victoria Moon
As much or as little as I like to believe in love at first sight, the same feeling I get when it comes to love at first listen, but on a rare occasion this might even happen with me. Though my way of being a music critic is by far less critical as those of others, the times a newly discovered band gets to me right away can be run down by so very few – not to mention those who will ever make it to my basic rotation…THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL is one of those rare gemstones I stumbled upon just now as they stumbled upon Psychorizon. My first thought, even before giving them a spin, certainly has to be “if Billy Corgan – SMASHING PUMPKINS – praises them, they can’t be bad at all”.
Kicking off with a windy noise cascade, lightly sizzling strings and somewhat double-sounding vocals, ‘Sassafras Overcoat’ the opener of “Victoria Moon” takes me right back to my teenage years: Back in the early to mid 90s, when the Grunge era was peaking and the so-called Seattle Sound has crossed the country all the way from the Westcoast to the far east. Not much of a surprise, if you take in consideration that THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL their first creative outlets before the fateful year of 1994. With their clean yet fuzzy guitars and midrange male vocals, it seems as though time has just passed by without a noticeable impact on the Chicago based threesome. To spice up their timeless – or to some rather outdated – sonic appearance, THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL like to work with effects that add a Psychedelic touch, as it is beautifully displayed on ‘The Collapse Of Suzy Star’ and ‘Super Phantasmal Heroine’, to the overall rockish outcome.
All you melancholic scene outsiders or just Grunge, Alternative and Psychedelic Rock lovers, sit back, relax and give “Victoria Moon” a spin. It’s like taking a ride downtown suburbia with THE LEMONHEADS in the backseat and WEEZER riding shotgun – you will totally dig this record!
Katharina Pfeiffer (Germany), November 2013
Various Artists/Live In London
The Live In London EP, available only to prolific purchasers of the FdM members club scheme, features tracks from the labels first ever live event – an all-dayer staged at London’s Borderline in August. The A-Side features the plaintive acoustic balladry of Jack Ellister, and the deliciously freaky garage/psych rock of Stay. On the flip Sendelica’s Eastern-tinged drones and sax squiggles hover over faux-dub bass on “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Buddha”, a sure contender for Best Floyd Cover Ever, narrowly eclipsing The Luck of Eden Hall’s manic thrash through “Lucifer Sam”, which closes proceedings in fine style.
Neil Hussey (UK), November 2013
Fruits de Mer Records (Live In London)
Back in August of this year, Fruits de Mer hosted an all-day gig at London’s Borderline. The label has released a 7″ entitled Fruits de Mer Records Live in London, featuring 4 live tracks from this gig. It is not being offered for sale and is only available as a freebie for people belonging to the Fruits de Mer members’ club. The artwork is a homage to The Who’s Live in Leeds, a version of which was also used by The Sea Urchins for their Live in London album. Jack Ellister appears with an acoustic song Old South, contemporary folk with country tinges, rather different from the other material I’ve heard from him but just as enjoyable. Stay sound like Spain’s answer to Kula Shaker with their combination of late 60s-ish psych-rock and 90s-style Britpop. Sendelica’s Set The Controls for the Heart of the Buddha is an Eastern-tinged and jazzy psych instrumental. The Luck of Eden Hall provide a version of Pink Floyd’s Lucifer Sam, in raw and intense garage rock style.
Kim Harten (UK), November 2013
Here Comes The Flood
The Luck of Eden Hall: Victoria Moon
Chicago based band The Luck of Eden Hall are the kind of act that has cult favorite written all over them. After the ambitious double album Butterfly Revolutions they are back with a fresh collection of neo-psychedelic songs on their new album Victoria Moon. This is a band that looks back while moving forward. Vocals sounding like they were recorded underwater in Super Phantasmal Heroine, the flanger pedal in Blood On My Feet, giving this true and tried techniques a new lease on life is what have been doing for fifteen years. With the current renewed (interest) in their kind of music The Luck of Eden Hall might get lucky after all. How many bands can write a song about Sassafras Overcoat or a girl raising a hippopotamus (The Collapse Of Suzy Star) without making a fool of themselves. This band can.
It’s not all retro – She’s Your Anodyne with its chugging back beat and wall-to-wall keyboards could cross over to the dance scene. Long time followers fans will love The Horrible Pill Book, with its fun fair sounds and the laid-back feel of the Stone Roses. And of course there’s a nod to the Beatles with Dandy Horse, a catchy pop song with a George Harrison inspired guitar solo.
Hans Werksman (Holland), November 2013
Sunrise Ocean Bender
The Luck of Eden Hall/Victoria Moon
Chicago’s The Luck of Eden Hall add another gem to the their sizable jewelry box with the luminous Victoria Moon. Wrapped in neo-psychedelic trimmings from dramatic sweep to ornate power pop poignancy, LOEH keep a muscular and crunchy center intact and active. Much of Victoria Moon overtly tips her hat to LOEH’s genesis in the late ’80s thru the ’90s by simply welcoming in some big rock. It’s no secret many bands out of that pool did the same, and were that much better for it, LOEH included. On this outing that’s been given a bigger spotlight with some of the psych curtains being pulled back, but never put away. The real wizard behind the curtain though is probably LOEH’s even stronger commitment to the song, keeping the pop core swaddled comfy in all the rock and filigree. Taken as one big bite, or nugget at a time, it all melts into a multi-color nexus that’s equal parts camaraderie, connection and unflagging pop energy. Whether it’s in the one-two punch of Sassafras Overcoat and Queen of the Stars, the melancholy haze of The Collapse Of Suzy Star or in the echo-bounce of Blood On My Feet’s ricochet from lush to sombre, LOEH keep a sparkler or three burning consistently. Good karma has the title cut about burning the brightest under the moonlight. Dense, lush and working up a frothy head of steam, Victoria Moon packs a punch equal to any of the others, but wallops with a velvety glove and some eider down. After some calm with The Collapse Of Suzy Star, LOEH are back to the hard candy with Zap, a tight rocker with a big chorus and just big enough bluster. Another stand out—among many—is the rocking Dandy Horse, a ragged and fuzzy romp that laps the competition by mixing in a heady amount of influences (I swear, Badfinger …) and ingredients that seem to grow with each spin. Through the rest of the cuts, there is a sizable amount of spinning continuing, whipped up by LOEH as they seem to effortlessly weave a steady stream of psych pop confectionery, laced with as many colors as there are flavors. Both a stand out and a classic LOEH album, and proof the alligator didn’t get the last gumdrop.
Mr. Atavist (USA), November 2013
The Sunday Experience
Fruits de Mer Records – Live In London
And so its back with Fruits de Mer (this one arriving just as we were drawing this missive to a close) with their now legendary seasonal subscriber give away. Who could forget previous festive gifts such as the ultra rare ’we come bearing gifts’ cassette from 2009 – a copy of which – rumour has it – recently exchanged hands for over 200 of your Queen’s notes. The following year the letter box rattled and the welcome matter purred to the gentle thud of ’the ’a phase we’ve been through’ CD while last years treat was the ambitious and hugely enjoyable double CD set ’the crabs sell out’ / ‘the crabs freak out’ – a mammoth 32 track account of strange sounds bubbling just beneath the radar. And so to 2013, with the label hosting its first all dayer one hazy Saturday in August what better way to document the event than to carve out an wax artefact of the happening for posterity. A specially pressed 7 inch in a mock up ’live at Leeds’ style sleeve that’s certain to be a thing of envy among your friends and peers. Our copy alas is your even rarer promo sadly without funky sleeve – darn – but still pressed upon its digitised settings four cuts recorded at that special Borderline event. Jack Ellister opens the occasion with his home grown ’old south’, a gorgeously intimate slice of rustically hued longing tweaked in introspection and perched upon a lilting hope hunting bitter sweet refrain yearn fully hollowing to an out to sea recline, which as it happens has something of a Beau meets Louden Wainwright III thing about its wares. Stay serve up ’I don’t see myself’ and a mod topped freak beat beauty it is all blessed with a kooky Hammond drenched and lysergic riffola freeform middle bit that’s primed with enough wasted wooziness as to have beards growing spontaneously. Sendelica take up the pilot duties to drive deep into the mystic transcendental folds of the mind with their re-enactment of Floyd’s ’set the controls for the heart of the Buddha (sun)’, just out there is this, jazz snake charms and bonged out arabesque wooziness equip this smoked out dude with a tripping third eye travel bag. Last and by no means least the Luck of Eden Hall arrive to bring matters to a close though not before scalping your stereophonic serenity with a rampant and wildly out of focus and day-glo grooved hexed hep cat re-reading of the Floydian ones ‘Lucifer Sam’. well cool.
Mark Barton (UK), November 2013
The Active Listener
The Luck of Eden Hall “Victoria Moon” Review
As baffling oversights go, the non-household name status of The Luck of Eden Hall must be right up there. Formed in Chicago in 1989, these chaps have built a sizeable back catalogue of gems that even the most uptight, tone deaf, besuited major label music executive would have to admit are hits in the waiting. The fact that these guys didn’t have their pick of the major labels during the heyday of college rock vexes me greatly.
“Victoria Moon” is another chapter in The Luck of Eden Hall’s extremely consistent story and contains everything I love about them; songs that combine dense and inventive neo-psychedelia with appealing and approachable indie rock embellishments that ensure appeal beyond ‘genre’ listeners, immaculate production flourishes, lyrics that enthusiastically embrace the colorful end of the psychedelic spectrum (“Sassafras Overcoat”), and effortless hooks (both instrumental and vocal) that most bands would kill for. Business as usual then.
They’ve toned back the buzzsaw guitars of their last album “Alligators Eat Gumdrops” a little and really centred in on the psychedelic details here, the title track in particular featuring some lovely mellotron and a heavily treated orchestral explosion ala the Beatles, resulting in a track that’s halfway between the melancholy of “A Day In The Life” and the Smashing Pumpkins at their subdued but epic peak.
That in a nutshell is a pretty good indicator of The Luck of Eden Hall’s sound – they throw in all the psychedelic tricks (phasing, backwards tapes – you name it), but their songs contextualize these period trappings into something much more contemporary – a thrilling alternative to their peers who often either seem to stick rigorously to the vintage rulebook, or add a whole bunch of reverb and shoegaze elements and called themselves new psychedelia.
“Zap” is another highlight (hard to pick highlights as The Luck of Eden Hall don’t write filler), a concise effects laden psych pop gem with staccato snarework (these guys always get a great drum sound that invariably reminds me of Jimmy Chamberlin’s crisp snare drum sound), a killer chorus and subtle “Good Vibrations” / “Mars Attacks” style theremin accompaniment. And while this may sound like the sort of detail that ensures a specific genre audience rather than widespread appeal, they have a way of making the most esoteric touches entirely listener friendly.
In short – it’s been twenty four years people, where have you been? If you are yet to discover the considerable charms of The Luck of Eden Hall “Victoria Moon” is the place to start.
Nathan Ford (New Zealand), November 2013
Various Artists: Fruit de Mer – Live In London
Each year Fruits de Mer Records want to reward their loyal followers who have been buying all or at least most of that year’s releases. In the past the freebie has been a tape or a CD-R, but this year it’s a genuine vinyl item for the first time! And what a wonderful Christmas present this is. The 7” EP includes four tracks recorded live at the Summer Fruits de Mer All-dayer at the Borderline in London. This event definitely was one of the most interesting music happenings in the UK this year and I’m very sorry that I couldn’t take part due to another trip. The All-dayer featured five live acts that have been releasing stuff on Fruits de Mer: the legendary Pretty Things, Stay from Spain, The Luck of Eden Hall (on their first tour outside of the US!), Sendelica from Wales and Jack Ellister from the Netherland playing a solo slot. The Pretty Things are not included on this EP because they are planning a full live album, but there is a song by all the other four bands/artists.
Jack Ellister starts off the EP with his own, folky song called “Old South”. Very intimate, nice feeling and Jack proves that he can play some excellent acoustic guitar and sing. Stay’s “I Don’t See Myself” is a quite energetic, 60’s styled garage/mod freak-out that has some The Who vibe (love the cover art, by the way!) and a rather progressive, psychedelic jamming part. Great organ on this one! The guys of Sendelica create their own, instrumental version of Pink Floyd’s “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” that also has some saxophone. This is very hypnotic, trance-inducing stuff for sure! Then it’s time for some psych rocking. “Lucifer Sam” is one of my favourite Pink Floyd songs and The Luck of Eden Hall do a raw, mind-blowing rendition of it. There’s even some Mellotron there I think, as well as lots of spacey noises. Wow! If you really want to have this 7”, you can try Heyday Mailorder, since Nick still seems to be stocking a lot of this year’s Fruits de Mer releases but it might be too late already.
DJ Astro (Finland) November 2013
House Of Prog
Various Artists: Fruits de Mer Records – Live In London (2013)
This 4 track vinyl single, given away for free as an exclusive item for members of UK label Fruits de Mer own FdM club, documents a great event for this small UK label: Their very own festival, which took place at The Borderline venue in central London in the summer of 2013.
Of course the whole experience hasn’t been documented on a single vinyl single, nor all the bands. But four of the five artists that performed this day are represented with a track each, headliners The Pretty Things not included as they are preparing their own live album from what I understand.
Jack Ellister’s Old South opens the A side here, a pleasant vocals and acoustic guitar affair of the kind that has singer/songwriter all over it. A nice melancholic piece, but perhaps not the most psychedelic item as such. Spain’s Stay follow with I Don’t See Myself, four minutes of spirited, organ driven psychedelic rock with a firm footing in the late 60′s to my ears at least, with guitar reverbs and resonance details supplementing the organ to create a psychedelic garage rock vibe.
Sendelica from Wales kickstart the B side of this single in a splendid manner with Set the Controls for the Heart of the Buddha. A homage to a certain classic track by a certain classic band, with ongoing theremin drone and a sax solo with what I’ll have to describe as a mystical, eastern inspired timbre as the dominant motifs, with elegantly plucked guitar details whenever a certain recurring motif isn’t given a psych-dripping guitar solo representation. Best of the lot on this single, and a piece of music that documents Sendelica’s superior qualities as a live band. Coming all the way from the US, The Luck of Eden Hall brought a different sound to this festival with their compelling, almost mainstream oriented highly compelling variety of psychedelic rock. On this single their spirited performance of Lucifer Sam was chosen though, a brooding almost menacing affair alternating between the compact dampened guitar and vocal driven sequences on one hand and the intense Mellotron and effects lazed instrumental sequences on the other. A spirited, fiery piece of psychedelic space rock.
All in all a nice memento for those of us who attended Fruits de Mer one day festival at The Borderline, and a fair representation of the events that took place that indicates quite nicely what those who couldn’t make it missed out on. As well as a high quality freebie for the FdM club members of course, a production that is representative of the quality we have come to expect from any single or album released by Fruits de Mer.
My rating: 80/100
Olav Martin Bjornsen (Norway), October 2013
Fred Perry’s Subculture
Chicago-based psych-pop band The Luck of Eden Hall have been knocking around the paisley underground since the late 80s, finding acclaim mostly in the U.K. and Europe. After a string of well-received summertime gigs in Sheffield, Cardigan, Glasgow and London (where they supported The Pretty Things), the group is back on U.S. soil with the excellent new album Victoria Moon.
Victoria Moon opens with “Sassafras Overcoat,” a lysergic trip deep into the wilderness, and the Mellotron-drenched title track. “The Collapse of Suzy Star” adds acoustic guitar and synth to the mix, while “Zap” brings to mind Guided by Voices at their most psychedelic.
The album hits its midpoint stride with “Sitting Bull” and the Anglophile fever dream “Drunk Like Shakespeare on Love.” “Dandy Horse” is a mash note to a bicyclist and the freedom that she represents; “Super Phantasmal Heroine” imagines a party that is both sweet and sinister as “the curtains all were unwound” and “the clock was wearing a frown.”
“Cracked Alice” marries drunken piano to lead singer Greg Curvey’s beyond-clever wordplay, while “Blood on My Feet,” (co-written by Curvey and bassist Mark Lofgren) recalls Pink Floyd at precisely the moment when Gilmour and Waters were finding their legs and Syd Barrett was charging toward oblivion. “She’s Your Anodyne” finds Lofgren taking the vocal lead on a track that owes a debt not only to orchestral pop but also to 70’s AM radio.
Victoria Moon closes with “The Horrible Pill Book,” and everything is wrapped up quite nicely: poetic lyrics, more Mellotron (courtesy of Jim Licka), Carlos Mendoza’s jazzy drumming and a gentle fade-out as The Luck of Eden Hall gaze upon an antique moon that continues to shine.
Subculture (UK), September 2013
I’ll confess now to being as jealous as a green-eyed thing of Mr Simon Lewis who showed sufficient gumption to haul ass all the way to the West Coast (in this case Cardigan Bay) to catch a rare glimpse of The Luck of Eden Hall recently. Then again, it was “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” as the old blues man once sang (no, not you Jimmy Page).
I’ve had to make do instead with a download of the new album Victoria Moon, which, in true Eden Hall style, is choc-full of classic pop psych hooks that might sound corny or clumsy in lesser hands but the Edens are pretty damned consummate exponents of their day glow and paisley art. Witness if you will “Sassafras Overcoat” (Single Version) which launches Victoria Moon in manner that will have you wearing shades on the darkest days. The crystal clear and razor sharp execution is equally in evidence on the gleeful almost bubblegum “Queen of the Stars” while the sunshine psychedelia continues to radiate through “The Collapse of Suzy Star” and the insanely melodic “Sitting Bull” (oddly reminiscent of Julian Cope circa “Fried”) with just the title track hinting at more intricate themes.
After a folksy intro, “Dandy Horse” slides into more time honoured soft cheese arrangements with that strangely tangy bite that keeps things well and truly the right side of trite. Honestly, how these guys aren’t commercially creaming it is beyond me. “Super Phantasmal Heroine” (chorus: “she loves you and then you’re dead again”) is the strangest thing here (courtesy perhaps of the “Wild Thing Mix”) but really our Heroes couldn’t fail to deliver a catchy tune if someone held guns to their heads and commanded them to drone like their lives depended upon it. Well Amen to that, say I.
“Zap”, like “Cracked Alice” elsewhere here is an alternative mix although I’m blowed if I can recall hearing either of the regular products) and by now the Edens are having as much fun wigging it out as I am at the receiving end of it. It’s still happy and it’s still clappy but in a scuzzed-out and reverb-heavy way. The slight sting in the tail is the closing “The Horrible Pill Book” with its muted, distorted carnival opening and “are you one of the frightened” intonation. Even here, though the tunefulness, of the aural product belies the rather sinister subject matter.
More gusty than last year’s Alligators Eat Gumdrops but not as ballsy as, say, Belladonna Marmalade (can that REALLY be twenty years old?), Victoria Moon can reasonably lay claim to being an ideal entry point for the uninitiated while long-term fans, of which we are now there are quite a few out there in the ether, are likely to grin like fools.
Ian Fraser (UK), September 2013
Record Collector Magazine
The Luck of Eden Hall – Butterfly Revolutions Vol. 1 & 2
By drawing their name from an eerily beautiful 14th-century Syrian drinking vessel supposedly invested with arcane powers, Chicagoan neo-psych master-painters The Luck Of Eden Hall illustratively nailed their swirling colours to the mast. Having been around in one form or another since 1989, they’ve honed their craft to a merciless degree: there isn’t a single wasted or superfluous moment over the entire length of Butterfly Revolutions, originally released as two volumes on separate CDs in 2011, but now available as an unreasonably sexy limited edition double-album (300 copies on black vinyl, 200 in the coloured equivalent).
It’s a properly intoxicating, head-spinning noise, but they excel at achieving psychotropic lift-off precisely because the fundamentals are nailed down so well. As a unit, they punch with the precision of bailiffs – thanks in no small measure to drummer Carlos Mendoza’s quartz-crystal sense of time – while Gregory Curvey and Mark Lofgren’s songs are sufficiently robust in construction to withstand any amount of post-production buffeting. Silly Girl, Medicine Queen and We Are Not Self Control recall the anthemic, soft-focus, pinwheel vision that animated the first Stone Roses album but, overall, it’s more like The Posies channeling (Robyn) Hitchcock’s prismatic sensibilities. A winning combination.
Oregano Rathbone (UK), July 2013
The Luck of Eden Hall – Butterfly Revolutions Vol. 1 & 2 LP
Housed in a suitably trippy and heavyweight gatefold sleeve, this glorious double album also boast gorgeous green/orange vinyl, the whole package exciting the senses before you have even heard the music within. This, of course, is where the fun begins, as side one opens with “Chrysalide”, a song that wears its paisley jacket with pride sounding like The Dukes of Stratosphear as it dances from the speakers with a warm, bright sound and love in its heart. Giving the guitar a workout, “This Weather’s Better For Velvet” is another lovely Psych-Pop gem and one of my favourites, the effects never overwhelming the melody or arrangements, the guitar giving the song some extra bite during the solo, the whole a joy to the ears.
With a slightly different feel, “Jupiter” reminds me of Super Furry Animals in the way it is constructed, although there are none of the electronics that those welsh psychsters like to add to their sound. Anyway, the song still sits happily in its place, especially as it is followed by the heavy blast of “Velvet and Corduroy”, a stone-cold psych classic with shades of The Pretty Things amongst its guitar driven groove.
Over on side two, “All Her Seasick Parties” is a heavy stomp with weird lyrics and a lysergic heart, whilst “Silly Girl” has a gentle jangle giving it a sixties bubblegum sound which is most appealing to these ears. Stranger to the ears is the short and lovely “Pretty Little Things” a psychedelic swirl of great quality that is the perfect foil for the sprightly and energetic sound of “She Falls Down”, a song that rattles out of the speakers yet manages to retain a lightness and melody, even during the heavy middle section, the kind of trick Husker Du managed so well on their early releases.
To end disc one, it is time to light an orange blossom joss stick and settle down into an easy chair as “Queen Anne’s Lace” drifts by on a rainbow cloud of bliss, the essence of psychedelia distilled into less than five minutes, both haunting and beautiful.
Moving onto disc two (the orange one) we find this sixties vibe still in place with “Metropolis” twisting and coiling, whilst reminding of early Bowie, a strange and slightly disturbing song with a great guitar sound running through it. After the energy filled “Complicated Mind”, a furious paisley romp, we come to another of my favourites as the slow, autumn coloured sounds of “Caroline” float by, the noisier middle section only adding to the dynamics of this future classic.
Sweet and Gentle, “North Hampton Woods” is a lilting acoustic track that is restful, this mood broken by the bouncy “Ottoman Girl”, another lively slice of Psych-Pop, the side ended by the weirdness of “Henrietta Lacks a Smile”, a tune that starts as a piano led ballad for surreal listeners before dissolving into a strange and droning finale, voice and strings melted together into a lava lamp of sound, all you have to do is drift away.
Nicely energetic, “Flowers” opens side four in an explosion of colour and sound, a great riff pushed along by a throbbing bass and spot-on drumming creating a psych gem that is matched by “Wither Fare Thou Be” a short song that mixes heavy chords with moments of drifting strangeness. Over the next three tracks there is a sonic unity that binds the side together before we reach “A Drop In The Ocean”, the band giving it everything for the final track, heavy guitar, echoed vocals, a sense of something just out of reach and a damn fine tune to boot, rounding of a wonderful collection that has variation and imagination at its heart, yet is definitely the work of one band, the quality hard to deny.
Simon Lewis (UK), July 2013
Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages
Alligators Eat Gumdrops
1. High Heeled Flippers 5:12
2. Bangalore 3:05
3. Ten Meters Over the Ground 4:29
4. Summertime Girl 3:28
5. Amoreena Had Enough Yesterday 3:43
6. Green Faery 3:17
7. Wasting the Days of Youth 3:54
8. Goodnight Anne Berlin 2:54
9. A Carney’s Delirium 4:25
10. This Is Strange 3:38
11. Alligators Eat Gumdrops 2:34
Gregory Curvey – vocals; guitars, bass, sitar; piano; drums
Mark Lofgren – vocals; bass; synthesizer
Carlos Mendoza – drums
Jim Licka – Mellotron
Mars Williams – saxophone
Prolusion. The US band THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL has been around in one shape or another for just about 25 years, albeit taking a few breaks here and there. But from 2006 and onwards they have released a steady stream of albums, and “Alligators Eat Gumdrops” is the most recent of these and was self released by the band in 2012.
Analysis. This US band, lead by Gregory Curvey, is amongst those bands that have toiled away for years without getting too much recognition. There are many artists of that kind around that due to a great variety of reasons have stayed beneath the radar whilst producing material of solid quality. This band did get a slight lift when the UK label Fruits de Mer Records started using some of their material on its productions however, and while fame and fortune may not beckon due to that at least they are somewhat more recognized in Europe at this point. What we’re dealing with here is a band with a firm foundation in psychedelic rock, with a minor key of progressive thrown in for good measure. Relatively lo-fi in execution, with stronger resemblances to the bands of yesteryear in sound and production than to contemporary artists per se. Solid and steady rhythms are something of a backbone throughout here, although with quite a few exceptions with drums in particular taking more of a backseat. Like the brilliant simplicity of opening piece High Heeled Flippers, showcasing just how effective echoing vocals, a lonely piano and cosmic sounding Mellotron vibes can be combined in different variations. And, I might add, with something of a Beatlesesque sound to it. This latter aspect a recurring feature, those fond of The Fab Four at their most psychedelic should find this disc to be of general interest I’d imagine. While the opening piece is a gentle and elegant affair, harder edged excursions with pumping bass, steady rhythms and psych-drenched instrumental motifs are just as much a part of the game here than the lighter toned and ethereal constructions. Bangalore, another brilliant little piece of music, adds a nifty sitar to the proceedings, and title track Alligators Eat Gumdrops is another item that features a more energetic take on psychedelic rock. But whether the composition is a low key one, an energetic romp or an atmospheric laced excursion, the key instrument is arguably the Mellotron. Cosmic vibes, majestic strings and gentler psych-drenched effects are all featured from this classic instrument as well as a few other varieties of brief tape samples used in creative and psychedelic oriented manners. The guitars add their own details too obviously, from light toned echoing guitar licks to darker toned, distorted riffs, for the most part limited to an expression safely residing within the palette of that instrument as it was in the late 60’s and early 70’s admittedly. This is a vintage oriented band in sound and style after all, and presumably the aforementioned nods in the directions of The Beatles are far from accidental.
Conclusion. Vintage oriented psychedelic rock with a firm orientation back to the late 60’s and early 70’s is what The Luck of Eden Hall provides on their latest studio effort “Alligators Eat Gumdrops”. Not an album for those who seek out bands trying to challenge norms and conventions, but a charming acquaintance those with an interest in psychedelic rock from yesteryear should find satisfying. Especially if occasional details reminding of later day Beatles are seen as a positive detail.
Olav M Bjornsen (Uzbekistan), July 2013
Alligators Eat Gumdrops
The Luck of Eden Hall takes you on a ’60’s psychedelic journey with a modern pop flavor on its newest release, Alligators Eat Gumdrops. The album’s 11 tracks combine dream-like Beatles melodies with David Bowie Ziggy Stardust-era. Sitars dominate “Green Faery” and “Bangalore” while the floating Mellotron of opener “High Heeled Flippers” sounds like a lost gem from the Fab Four’s Magical Mystery Tour. The horn section on “Ten Meters Over The Ground” is a nice touch, as are the orchestral arrangements on “A Carney’s Delirium” and “Amoreena had Enough Yesterday”. Listening to AEG is a trip down memory lane.
Kelley Simms (USA), April 2013
The Sunday Experience
The luck of eden hall – Children of the sun – which for people located on the isles of Britain is – just to remind you for its been so long since these shores were appreciating her warming rays – that big yellow thing in the sky, a missive reaches us from lands afar across endless oceans from the hand of Mr Curvey – he of the multi talented trip-a-delic troop known as The Luck of Eden Hall – that said psychedelically touched administrators of head trip medicines have just finished recording footage for a video to accompany a new track entitled ‘sassafras overcoat’. the song is the first of a planned series of sonic happenings which will eventually culminate in the appearance of the bands forthcoming ‘Victoria Moon’ full length – presently slated for Summer issue. The video features guest appearances by local burlesque stars Bella Canto and Ray Ray Sun-Shine and is at present still under wraps and okayed for private viewing which in the meantime we await necessary permissions for posting. As to the song itself, would it be stretching it to say their finest to date, tailored in the usual Eden Hall trademarks, there’s a coolly coalescing fusion of shade adorned fizzy psyche strut grooving at play here mushrooming around a divinely purred paisley pop sub text, the hulking strums, the punctuating urgency of stutter fire drums sequences exact a fracturing anxiety that’s soothed and waylaid by the bliss bathed dreamily draped lysergic harmonic honeycombs that frequently appear dotted throughout all of which collide at the 3.40 mark into a gloriously wiring kaleidoscopic haze. Recommended for inclusion on any floppy fringe watch list.
Mark Barton (UK), March 2013
Long Player Late Blogger
The Luck of Eden Hall-Alligators Eat Gumdrops-2012
Si les alligators mangent des jujubes, alors peu importe que tu sois Nuggets ou nougats. Tu dois te taper illico cet album fluorescent, sorte de biographie non officielle du psychédélisme, sans droit d’inventaire même si parfois à la Prévert.
Translation: If alligators eat gumdrops, then it doesn’t matter if you’re Nuggets or nougats (ie, American or French). You must get this fluorescent album immediately; kind of an unofficial history of psychedelia, aside from debating its authenticity, even sometimes it’s reminiscent of Prévert (French poet Jacques Prévert).
Cree Le (France), February 2013
Alligators Eat Gumdrops
Dealing in what could be described as classic psychedelia, The Luck of Eden Hall have proved themselves master practitioners of the art, each of their previous releases liberally spiced with some top tunes. However, on this release they have pulled it all together to create their finest moment so far, a fantastic collection that recalls the heady days of swinging London, which is no bad thing in my book.
Opening with the short and sweet piano led “High Heeled Flippers”, a song that sounds like it could have fallen of the back of “Revolver”, the peace is shattered wonderfully by “Bangalore” a sitar drenched psych rocker, that has fuzz, harmony, solos and a manic stomp packed into its three minute groove, sounding like it could be an album favourite and igniting the album with style. After the paisley shimmer of “Ten Meters Over The Ground”, think Dukes of Stratosphear meet The Hollies, we are treated to the wonderful “Summertime Girl”, the first of two excellent songs written by Bassist Mark Lofgren, the rest of the album being penned by Gregory Curvey, the main man behind the band.
Suitably strange both lyrically and musically, “Amoreena Had Enough Today” Manages to sound like The Eels and The Pretty Things, the tune having a languid hazy atmosphere and a great middle section. With some fine backward guitar to begin, “Green Faery” ups the tempo again, getting your head spinning nicely, the lava lamp well and truly warmed up by now, which is just as well as the beautiful and melancholic “Wasting the Days of Youth” swirls your brain outwards,a gorgeous tune that is beautifully produced, kissing the sun with ease. Next up “Goodnight Anne Berlin” is the second song penned by Mark Lofgren and possibly one of my favourites, a jangly guitar taking the song on a Byrdsian flight to the sweet spot, that is matched by “A Carney’s Delirium” the recorder intro and arrangement reminding me of Gorkys, although the song has an identity and atmosphere all of its own, as well as some wonderful guitar playing towards the end.
Nice and noisy, “This is Strange” allows the guitar to run free with some great riffing and power chords, demanding that you turn it up to appreciate its’ splendour, reminding me of The Small Faces in freakout mode. Finally the album closes with another rocker as the title track displays a sense of fun and a kaleidoscopic heart that makes you smile.
One of the strengths of this album is the running order, each song complementing the one before and after, couple that with the sheer quality of the songwriting and you have a collection that will be played for a long time to come. Limited to 200 copies and worth picking up sooner rather than later.
Simon Lewis (UK), January 2013
Record Collector Magazine
FdM Crystal Ship EP
A Chicago band who’ve been weird for 20 years offer a brace of tunes from their album Alligators Eat Gumdrops (we rang the zoo to check, but they were baffled), plus two covers. One is a snarling take on Crystal Ship, all whining guitar and synth, it makes Jim Morrison seem like a supermarket. (Morrison’s is a chain of Supermarkets in the UK, editor;) Their Bangalore boasts unstoppable drums and (you guessed it) sitar. This Is Strange could be straight grunge were it not for the potty panning and FX. Clearly, they could have been huge, but chose a more challenging path.
Ian McCann (UK), January 2013
God Is In The TV Zine
Tales From The Attic Act VII Revolutions of a 33 and 45 Kind
As to the seasons finale four excellent outings to wrap up the year first of which comes from Chicago psych-sters The Luck of Eden Hall. Hot on the heels on their hugely fancied ’Alligators Eat Gumdrops’, reviewed incidentally here was it last time out – its been so long, many thanks by the way to Greg of the band for the prints which now adorn a special place in our gaff. Anyhow comprising of four tracks, two exclusive covers and a brace of choice cuts prized from the aforementioned ’gumdrops’ set are what you get for your grafted wonga in the guise of ‘Bangalore’ and ‘this is strange’. The former filleted with a woozy and hazy psych cast all garnished in swirling sitars that curdle sumptuously to an hallucinogenic arabesque mantra pepper corned with dayglo dimples, the latter, in our humbled opinion one of the cherished cuts of the ‘gumdrops’ set, here sired with a kick botty snaking fuzz freaked bubblegum strut that to these ears shocks and seductively stirs star-wards as though conceived from a melodic mind meeting of soft boys and db’s types. As to the covers – ’Black Sheep’ originally emerged on one of the great underappreciated debuts to emerge from the late 60’s. SRC were a Detroit garage band whose stoner grooved brand of psychedelia went toe to toe MC5 in their heyday. Here loosened and diluted of the originals primordial goo the Eden Hall set about instilling a lazy eyed lysergic lilt to the proceedings, stoned organs and sun frazzled riffage smoke to an after-burn haziness of bleached and wasted regal like recitals, utterly far out in short. Sublime doesn’t really cut when hearing their frankly extraordinary re-visioning of the Doors ‘crystal ships’, perhaps incidentally the finest and most beautiful thing to emerge from the collective authorship of Morrison and Co. Agreed it should be said not as hushed and haunting as the original but indelibly fused all the same with a lushly sedated dream like shimmer of magisterial and mercurial adeptness as such a treatment desires and deserves, softly tempered strings swoons and the dizzying accompaniment of slow burn riffmanship combine to give this an alluring spell crafting aura. Essential listening in a word.
And so to the fourth and final release of this years FdM related roster. There’s been much hush and secrecy about this particular outing, those who’ve been eagle eyed in keeping up with these things per the FdM site may well have pondered and puzzled over the appearance on the labels discography in recent weeks of something just simply entitled ‘white’ EP. All is revealed with what will be the appearance of a double disc coloured vinyl set paying homage to the Beatles or more specifically their fractured opus ‘white album’. pressed up on white vinyl – really could you imagine it on any other coloured variant – and limited to 1234 copies – indeed I’m sure there’s a cryptic reason there somewhere and well not being your most noted Beatles fan – yes and I was born and bred in Liverpool – this small inconsequential finds itself a tad lost on me. As to the EP itself – well in some respects a kind of year end festive get together of specially selected souls who’ve graced the FdM hall of fame throughout the year along with a few debutantes who were sure to hear more of on future releases – stand up three minute tease (kind of anyway as its Anton Berbeau’s new boogie band) and henry padovani as that’ll be you we’re talking about. Eight tracks, eight bands and eight interpretations of cuts from the Fab 4’s most musically diverse and all said most interesting album. The set sees freaksters Cranium Pie rubbing shoulders with the old guard – and original guard – the Pretty Things whilst setting aside groove space for some memorable moments courtesy of the eden hall and jack ellister. Treats aplenty literally eke from this ear candy collection not least the Pretty Things version of ‘helter skelter’ which less psychotically treated than most versions cut in recent years and that includes the original mop top mix is here given a zonked out re-visioning which by its end could easily pass for something smoked out of the grooves of the walking seeds ‘bad orb’ sessions. Mind you that said it pales somewhat in terms of weirdness when stood alongside Cranium Pie’s utterly freakish refit of ‘the continuing story of bungalow bill’ which here finds itself typically turned on its head, taken apart and cobbled together to appear as some woozy nightmarish dream sequence that one suspects has been stoked by a greedy ingestion of mushrooms of the magical variety. Three minute tease set about retuning ‘cry baby cry’ and emerge sounding more Beatle-y than the Beatles while somewhere else the Frond dinks ‘glass onions’ with an attractively loose limbed bliss kissed blues swagger. ‘dear prudence’ here recoded by Jack Ellister is trimmed with such a life affirming glow that it gets close to the Beatles interpretation and joyously soaks the proceedings in an uplifting hazily drizzled mirage of celebratory chimes. ‘savoy truffle’ is caressed with a devilishly slinky kaleidoscopic purr by the seventh ring of Saturn while stirring quietly in romantic reflection henry padovani rounds up the set with one of ‘white album’s’ oft overlooked gems – that’ll be ‘long long long’ in case you were somewhat unaware – here trimmed delicately to a desirably spectral glow that imparts the melt of a softly coaxed hymnal love note – utterly tender. Last up and before we forget – be honest would we ever or dare come to think of it and here re-branded with a detectably elephant 6 collective stylised freakish psych pop uplift that at once recalls of montreal, neutral milk hotel and doleful lions in a studio soiree of sorts, The Luck of Eden Hall cast a fond bubble grooved eye over ‘everybody’s got something to hide except me and my monkey’. frankly a must have release Beatle head or not.
Mark Barton (UK), January 2013
Wild Thing Magazine
The Luck of The Eden Hall (hereinafter LOEH) apparently have a lucky streak lately. Having their roots in the scene 90s, the last five years have reactivated discography with fairly intense way and Alligators Eat Gumdrops their last essay, published by themselves in extremely limited numbers (although bandcamp and be well will find it easy to http://theluckofedenhall.bandcamp.com/ with artwork and everything else you need). Apart from procedural now, I am rarely in the last year listening to a new column disk – to the extent that risk being characteristic “geroperiergos” – but this disc with the LOEH captured by surprise. The Alligators are an unexpected exhibition of creativity, endless inspiration, executive and enorchistrotikis perfection, fantasy production, flawless pop sensory and freshness. Our friend Curvey (vocals, guitars, bass, sitar, keyboards, theremini, flute and percussion!), who is the mastermind of this “revolutionary organization” apparently sold his soul to Satan in exchange for eternal youth and talent to endlessly recycle the materials we have in our collective database of musical experiences from several decades but were absorbed at basic amino acids that recreates exciting new musical adventures with rare taste and aesthetics. The LOEH not restrain themselves in conventional weapons, are ready to make unconventional orchestration hits using whatever weapon seems appropriate in every circumstance: mellotron, sax, theremini, sitar, Tapes, ” pissed ” guitars, whatever you need. There are also limited to one style “psychedelic” – all fall into marmita: the flower power, the neopsychedeleia the 80s (American and English), the power pop, etc. to succeed each time the prescription. And also know how to write songs: “This Is Strange”, “Green Faery”, “Ten Meters Over the Ground”, “Amoreena Had Enough Yesterday”, “Wasting the Days of Youth”, “Goodnight Anne Berlin”, “Alligators Eating Gumdrops “- of the best songs you can hear this year. The conclusion after all this is that you proskalloume (urge) to invest time and money in LOEH whatever race you think you belong (pouroker, hipsters, popsters, hobbits, orcs, etc.)
Joe Wildthing (Greece), December 2012
Rolling Stone Blog
The Luck of Eden Hall
Ich kann es kaum glauben, dass diese US-Band aus Chicago, Illinois, bis vor wenigen Monaten tatsächlich noch nie auf meinem Horizont aufgetaucht ist. Seit gut zwanzig Jahren sind die drei bis vier Bandmitglieder rund um Mastermind Gregory Curvey unterwegs. 1993 veröffentlichten sie ihr erstes Album “Belladonna Marmelade”, dessen Sound noch etwas nach dem Grunge-Bastard Stoner geriet, aber dennoch auch dort schon klar psychedelische Pop-Untertöne bereit hielt. Auch das zweite Album “Par Crone” von 1997, eher ein Sololabum oder Seitenprojekt von Curvey, klingt folgerichtig.
Es folgt eine längere Pause, bis 2006 “Subterrene” erscheint, auf dem die Band vollends in den flirrenden Kosmos zwischen Psychedelic und (Power) Pop eintaucht. Die Produktion wirkt wie bei so vielen Klassikern des Genres etwas Heimstudio lastig, manchmal würde man sich etwas mehr Druck wünschen. Das aber wird mehr als wett gemacht durch gutes Songwriting, wunderschöne Melodien, originelle Texte, ein interessantes Drumspiel und jede Menge Herzblut und Engagement.
Älter geworden und offensichtlich fokussierter und kreativer als je zuvor legen Curvey und die Band seitdem stetig nach. 2009 folgt das Album mit dem Klassetitel “When the clock starts to wake up we go to sleep”, das den eingeschlagenen Weg des Halluzinogen-Pop teils auf die Spitze treibt. Und je oller, je doller: Einmal wieder angestoßen, findet die Kreativität kaum ein Ende. 2011 kommt der Doppelschlag von “Butterfly Revolutions Vol 1 & Vol 2”, im August 2012 schließlich das aktuelle Album “Alligators eat gumdrops”, mit dem ich sie vor kurzem schätzen und lieben gelernt habe. Zurzeit höre ich das viel und erobere zugleich genießend den gesamten Backkatalog.
Daniel Belsazar (Germany), December 2012
Shindig’s Happening Magazine
The Luck of Eden Hall/Alligators Eat Gumdrops
(Self Released CD)
What strikes me about this, the fourth LP from The Luck Of Eden Hall, is how English much of it sounds, despite the band’s roots in deepest Michigan.
Admittedly, the title track combines garage band riffing and self-consciously trippy lyrics into its brief lifespan, and Bangalore mixes up heavy ’70s drums and guitars with spidery sitar embellishments, (“Batgirl does Bollywood” is how the band themselves describe it). ‘Ten Meters Over The Ground’ though, has a catchy, sax-driven Bowie/Mott style chorus, and ‘Amoreena Had Enough Yesterday’, with its swathes of cosseting Mellotron, evokes nostalgic reveries of a fabled Englishness that possibly never even existed.
The band have a winning way with a melody: ‘A Carney’s Delerium’ layers guitars and mellotron in a lovely, evocative soundscape; and ‘Summertime Girl’ is a pleasingly warm and fuzzy mix of acoustic guitars and organ which generates enough warmth to ease the winter chills outside.
Neil Hussey (UK), December 2012
Bliss/Aquamarine Single Reviews
The Luck of Eden Hall-Crystal Ship 7″
(Regal Crabomophone 2012)
4 tracks from Chicago-based psych-rock outfit The Luck of Eden Hall. There are covers of tracks by The Doors (Crystal Ship) and SRC (Black Sheep), and two of the band’s own songs taken from their recent Alligators Eat Gumdrops album. The covers have a more obviously retro sound, whereas their own material shows more willingness to experiment musically, and it’s these own compositions that grab me the most. Bangalore is an energetic, noisy yet melodic number combining sitar, vocal harmonies and a strong tune with punky riffage. Whilst incorporating sitar into psychedelic music is nothing new, The Luck of Eden Hall’s take on Indian-tinged psychedelia has far more bite than previous experiments along these lines. This Is Strange is another intense, heavy track which again combines the energy and aggression of punk with psychedelic effects, whilst still retaining a strong melody. It’s essentially hard-edged powerpop meets psych-rock, the song lurching dizzyingly from one speaker to the other for maximum psychedelic effect. As with everything on Regal Crabomophone/Fruits de Mer, this is a very limited edition release – grab a copy from www.fruitsdemerrecords.com before it’s too late!
Kim Harten (UK), December 2012
THE LUCK of EDEN HALL, Alligators Eat Gumdrops
I’m privileged and honored to have the 006 CD album of this extra-limited-to-200 copies newest psychedelic adventure of Gregory and The Luck of Eden Hall. I’ve said it many times, on earlier reviews. I’m saying it once more. This is about the Art of Making little Beautiful Psychedelic-Pop musical pieces flavored with the whole 60s psych culture! Gregory and the rest of the gang, bend over the album with so much love, creativity, passion and care that all these are reflected in the final result, the 11 compositions. Album takes off with the nostalgic, melodic; piano based “High Heeled Flippers”. An outtake from the “White” album. Definitely! The trippy & heavy pop-psych and full of sitar sound “Bangalore” follows. The freshy “Ten Meters Over The Ground” can lift you more than ten meters over the ground. How the hell they come with such melodies? The double (or whatever) vocal harmonies along with the synth sound and the mellotron and the backward guitars make “Summertime Girl” not just another love song. I dare to say a sophisticated one! “Amoreena Had Enough Yesterday” has great orchestration and reminds me of some of the best of George Martin’s productions (got it?) Distinctive backwards guitar sound once more on the sunny fresh poppy “Green Faery”. “Wasting The Days Of Youth” shines with its neo-psychedelic feel and pompous orchestration while “Goodnight Anne Berlin” flirts with British (what else?) Psych in band’s own characteristic style. Yes! They managed to create their OWN style! “A Carney’s Delirium” has some really wondrous electric guitar playing while “This Is Strange” (which Gregory kindly enough gave us permission to include on this issue’s CD comp) is just what a 3 and a half min neo-psych-pop song is all about! Album closes with the self –titled “Alligators Eat Gumdrops” in a rockier way, only to leave you wondering “is this the 10th 11th time that I’m repeating this album?” I believe that probably this is their best album so far, and I’m waiting for the day that some label in Europe will discover their genius and release their “works” here too. Enjoy it!
Time Lord Michalis (Greece), December 2012
Psychotropic Zone Psychedelic Music Club
Various Artists: The White EP
Fruits de Mer (Crustacean 33)
The Beatles is probably the most important and most famous band from the 60’s so it was only a matter of time when their music would get a release of its own on Fruits de Mer label specialized in putting out cover versions of psychedelic songs from the 60s and 70s. Sure, there have been some one-off Beatles covers on their releases before (on the Cranium Pie 7”, by Stay on Fruits de Mer Annual 2011, by Langor on Keep of the Grass), but now it was the right moment for a project wholly dedicated to this great band. Eight bands have recorded versions of their favourite tracks from the self-titled The Beatles album from 1968 for this release. So we’re talking about the double album with white cover that is better known as The White Album. Like the promo sheet of this soon to be released double 7” The White EP says: “…it’s a bit of a tribute to the original, only smaller…”. Genius!
Anton Barbeau’s new band Three Minute Tease gets the honor to start things, and they’re really doing a great job with the originally acoustic song “Cry baby Cry”. Marvelous. The legendary The Bevis Frond rocks in a mellow way with their choice “Glass Onion” and it’s a very suitable song for this band who are not novices in covering The Beatles. The Luck of Eden Hall picked up the frisky and energetic song ”Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” and it suits them perfectly. One of the EP’s’ selling points might be that it also features The Pretty Things, who were there already at the time of The Beatles. They perform a very deep and effective version of “Helter Skelter”, phew. One of the best songs on the original album is “Dear Prudence”, and Jack Ellister succeeds to get a very original spirit to his version too, even if it’s about 30 seconds shorter. Cranium Pie manages to twist everything they touch into psychedelic and experimental, really weird mushroom prog, and that’s exactly the fate of ”The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill” as well. This makes your head quite dizzy! The Seventh Ring of Saturn grooves in a swinging and rolling style with “Savoy Truffle” and Henry Padovani, a new acquaintance to me, is entitled to finish off this great double EP with George Harrison’s beautiful ballad “Long, Long, Long”. Although the pressing of this release will be a bit bigger than usual (“around 1234 copies”) it will sell out fast for sure so please pre-order soon…
DJ Astro (Finland), December 2012
Psychotropic Zone Psychedelic Music Club
The Luck of Eden Hall: Alligators Eat Gumdrops / S/T 7” EP
Self-released CD / Regal Crabomophone (Winkle 9)
Alligators Eat Gumdrops is the sixth album by this fine Chicago-based band (if you don’t count the Par Crone album by the main man Curvey) and the band just gets better and better. It’s been almost 20 years since the first album and they had a long sabbatical in the middle but now they have been active during the recent years releasing their own albums and EP’s and cover tracks on Fruits de Mer and their sister label Regal Crabomophone. Last year we received two albums, Butterfly Revolutions Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, that were some of the best psychedelic, 60s inspired pop/rock albums in 2011. I’m sure that Alligators Eat Gumdrops that was released as a limited edition of only 200 copies will be on that list this year.
The 40-minute album includes 11 tracks that I will now analyze shortly. ”High Heeled Flippers” is a piano-driven song with lots of psychedelic echoes on vocals. The psych rocking is started with the groovy and amazing ”Bangalore” that also includes sitar and is one of the best tracks on the album. ”Ten Meters Over the Ground” could almost be from a lost George Harrison solo album and the saxophone is played by the special guest Mars Williams. ”Summertime Girl” is a laid-back ballad and one of the two album tracks written by the other main member Mark Lofgren instead of Curvey. Also ”Amoreena Had Enough Yesterday” is a bit slower and more atmospheric track that has for example Mellotron sounds and even some folk rock vibes. “Green Fairy” rocks harder and faster a bit in The Bevis Frond style also including those lovely backwards guitar solos. Excellent! The folk rock mode is also on during the track ”Wasting the Days of Youth” that can bring to mind Love or The Byrds. There is some superb psychedelic solo guitar work towards the end! The late period Beatles must have been influencing the track entitled ”Goodnight Anne Berlin” and ”A Carney’s Delirium” that also has acoustic guitar is a quite interesting piece and I think I can sense some David Bowie here. One of the most rocking songs is the groovy “This Is Strange” that includes nicely phased fuzz guitars and overall great effects. The album’s title track is saved to the last and it too rocks very well in the 60’s psych rock style and has great melodies as well. Excellent stuff! This is a really well produced album that gives you everything you need. There are still some copies left to be ordered through the band’s Bandcamp site where you can of course also buy the album as a digital download.
The EP that will be released next month has two of the best songs from the album namely the Eastern-tinged “Bangalore” and the mind-warpingly phased “This Is Strange” as well as two carefully picked cover songs. The hazy and floating “The Crystal Ship” gets a treatment it deserves and the cold shivers are running at least through my spine since this sounds so amazing with the Mellotron sounds and all. The vocals are also delivered very well and with emotion! The late 60s Detroit psych rock act SRC was totally unknown to me before this, I must admit it here and now. The Luck of Eden Hall’s version of their song “Black Sheep” is so effective that I just have to check out the original performer as well! There is some totally awesome, inspired guitar soloing in the end. Like the band’s first Regal Crabomophone EP this will for sure sell out fast so please do pre-order… Now!
DJ Astro (Finland), November 2012
Atalho de sons -The Luck of Eden Hall
Oriundo da cena neo-psych de Chicago, o trio The Luck of Eden Hall conta já várias gravações no curriculum, entre elas o seminal “Belladonna Marmalade” ( 1993 ). Ao álbum mais recente deram o delicioso título de “Alligators eat Gumdrops” e dele retiraram dois originais para integrar este EP: “Bangalore” e “This is strange”. Entre o psicadélico, o garage-rock e o power-pop, The Luck of Eden Hall expressa-se sem constrangimentos técnicos e oferece-nos como bónus duas versões de peso: “Crystal Ship” dos Doors ( magnífica ) e “Black Sheep”, um original dos menosprezados SRC.
Luis Peixoto (Portugal), November 2012
The Luck of Eden Hall – Alligators Eat Gumdrops / 7″ E.P – Reviews
The Luck of Eden Hall sure are prolific. They released a few bits and pieces in the early nineties before calling it a day. They then reformed in 2002 and have been steadily gaining momentum ever since – last year was particularly busy with various releases on the Fruits de Mer label as well as the two “Butterfly Revolutions” albums.
It’s fitting then with this relentless drive in mind, that I’ve been presented with not one, but two new items of theirs to draw your attention to.
First up is their most recent album “Alligators Eat Gumdrops”, which despite being a quote proffered to the band by a six year old (ala “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”), is actually a pretty good way of metaphorically describing the band’s sound.
The Luck of Eden Hall make psychedelic pop music with a heavy Beatles and lysergic sixties influence. “Big deal” you may say, “so do a lot of other great recent bands”. That is indeed true, but there are few psych outfits out there today who so successfully combine the sugary hooks of yesteryear with the crunchy guitar tones you’ll find plastered all over this very fine CD.
And while the law of diminishing returns should well and truly be in effect by now with such a prolific outfit, these guys just seem to get better with every release. “Alligators” is a top album, with lots of psychedelic twists and turns for the genre afficianado, and enough big choruses and guitars to reel in listeners who would otherwise view psychedelia with a whiff of suspicion.
Available as a download or on Limited Edition CD here, this is as good a place as any to jump in and explore this particularly rambunctious psychedelic act.
Also on the agenda is a self titled 7″ E.P from the fine folks at Fruits de Mer Records.
Comprised of two tracks from “Alligators” (including the probable highlight “Bangalore”), and two covers (a moody take of the Doors “The Crystal Ship” and even better, a storming, heavy version of SRC’s “Black Sheep” that leaves the original for dead) this is a fine sampler of their work, and a necessary purchase for those who want to own a round piece of wax by this band, rather than a piece of plastic.
As with all Fruits de Mer releases these will pre-sell so quickly that if you don’t order a copy in the next three minutes you’re likely to miss out (visit here – quick!)
Nathan Ford -The Active Listener (New Zealand), November 2012
THE LATEST SOUNDS FROM FRUIT DE MER RECORDS
Not only do Fruit de Mer release amazing music, they seem to release it at an alarming rate meaning it is in danger of selling out before we have time to write about it. So, without further ado, here is a quick trawl through there most recent stuff.
Featuring two seven minute plus tracks, Both Temple Music and vespero seriously deliver the goods on their split 7” single, with Temple Music covering “Pegasus” (the Hollies) and turning into a psych monster throwing their entire box of effects and trickery at it until it swirls, bubbles and spins with joyous abandon If you have a lava lamp this is the time to turn it on and you best keep it on for the flipside as Vespero tackle “Jennifer” (Faust) and do a fine job, the tune moving from gentle opening groove to hazy cloud of psychedelic splendour, creating a languid and quite splendid sound that is matched perfectly with its companion on the other side.
Featuring two covers and two originals, The Luck of Eden Hall are in fine form on their latest EP, their psychedelic credentials still fully operational as they open with “The Crystal Ship” (The Doors), keeping the songs mellow sheen whilst adding a lysergic layer of their own creation. On “Black Sheep” (SRC) the sound becomes heavier but equally lysergic, mixing original sixties and neo psych to great effect, the superb guitar solo at the end the icing on the proverbial cake. Moving onto the originals (Taken from their new album “Alligators Eat Gumdrops”), “Bangalore” is a heavy number with an Eastern haze and more excellent guitar work, although the whole band are in great form, whilst “This Is Strange” is swirling psych gem, heavy, filled with energy and suitably strange, I look forward to hearing the rest of the album.
Now a couple of words from Steve Palmer taken from the soon to be published “Rumbles” and placed somewhere more appropriate: thanks, Steve.
On the ever-reliable Fruits De Mer record label we find the Finnish psychedelic band Permanent Clear Light, whose single “Higher Than The Sun” is a very nice retro-sounding slab of psych pop, Barrett guitar, hazy vocals, space, bass, backwards recordings and all. Good sounds and a good tune. The B-side is an interpretation of Peter Hammill’s ‘Afterwards,’ which is equally as good. An album from these guys would be very welcome indeed. Also on FdM are psych popsters The Chemistry Set, whose retro vibes go down nicely at Palmer Towers. Their new single “Come Kiss Me Vibrate And Smile” is a breezy, harmony-laden gem, with everything you want from this kind of music. A real joy to hear. Two further tracks – ‘Time To Breathe’ and Tomorrow’s ‘Hallucinations’ complete a terrific set. The band’s seventeen year hiatus doesn’t seem to have done any damage. It is perhaps no surprise that Anton Barbeau should find himself on FdM Records, and here he is with the title track of his last album, “Psychedelic Mynde Of Moses,” which I much enjoyed in its last incarnation – here it features The Bevis Frond on electric guitar. Two further cuts enliven the release, Robyn Hitchcock’s ‘Sometimes I Wish I Was A Pretty Girl’ (a very raw, almost distorted version) and Julian Cope’s ‘Out Of My Mind On Dope And Speed,’ here given a thrashing, rollicking arrangement. Recommended.
Starting out as an alcohol fuelled dream and actually becoming a reality “The League of Psychedelic Gentlemen” features four modern psych legends, each offering an exclusive track to a wonderful EP. First up Nick Nicely twists your mind with “Rosemary’s Eyes”, a hazy swirl that is sure to beome a lost gem, the song getting better each time I hear it. Next up, the mighty Bevis Frond does his thing with “I’m a Stone”, a typically jaded and beautiful song with trademark guitar firmly in place,as good as ever. Originally on the album “In the Village of the Apple Sun”, Anton Barbeau has reworked “When I Was 46 (In the year 13)” with his band Three Minute tease keeping the feel but adding more synths and a heavier sound. I think I prefer the original version, but this is still a fine version with the chaotic middle section working particularly well. Finally, Paul Roland brings it all home with “The Puppet Master”, A mix from 1980 that was recently unearthed by a fan. Featuring a creepy stacatto guitar riff, the song has a gothic aura that will be familiar to fans of Mr Roland, the song rounding the EP with style and panache.
Finally from Fruit de Mer, at least until the post arrives tomorrow, comes “The White EP” featuring eight covers of tunes from the Beatles classic double album. It’s an interesting idea that could have gone horribly wrong, but didn’t thanks to the quality of the artists involved and the taste of the label itself.
First up Anton Barbeau and band tackle “Cry Baby Cry” and does a great job, coating it in psych finery. Turning “Glass Onion” into a Bevis Frond Song, Mr Saloman is in fine fettle as he creates the perfect cover version, whilst The Luck of Eden Hall give “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and my Monkey” a good spanking, giving it a joyous feel that gets your toes a-tappin’.
Changing its dynamics completely, The Pretty Things take “Helter Skelter” into new lands, giving a slow heavy feel, turning into a creepy psychedelic song that works perfectly, especially with the addition of a barely audible solo that adds extra menace. Equally good is the psych-pop cover of “Dear Prudence” created by Jack Ellister, the song retaining its beauty and sixties vibe.
To be fair, it is a long time since I heard “the White Album” ( I come from the school of thought that it would be better as a single album), so it is hard to remember exactly how the originals sound, but I am convinced that Cranium Pie take “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill” into much stranger territory than the Beatles did, whilst The Seventh Ring of Saturn seem to want to head into space on their version of “Savoy Truffle”, just managing to keep their feet on the ground. Finally, Henry Padovani keeps it simple on “Long Long Long” guitar and voice taking us out with a mellow hippy vibe.
Actually, having heard this EP I am curious to see how I feel about the original album now. These versions are all excellent and even massive Beatles fans should have no fears about seeking them out.
All the above are strictly limited edition and they always sell out quickly, add them to your Christmas list and put a smile on your face.
Simon Lewis-Terrascope (UK), November 2012
The Luck of Eden Hall
So there we were. Daylight had broken while we slept on the sand and a seagull had stolen the ring from our hand. The boy had given us so much fun had left us so cold in the paper sun. So anyway we decided to climb on the back of a giant albatross which was all rather nice and then rather surprisingly it flew through a crack in the cloud to a place where happiness reigned all year round and music played ever so loudly. A thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all and then the band who we had been watching came over and handed us a copy of their new 4 track 7″ EP on coloured vinyl which comes in an edition of 750 copies only (well 749 now as we have one of them). If you want one of them (and rather jolly spiffing they are too!) you’ll have to wait until December. December 10th in fact when it is released on The Regal Crabomophone label with a Winkle 9 catalogue No. Regal Crabomophone incidentally is an offshoot of Fruits de Mer.
Did I mention that the band concerned were called “THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL” Anyway this little Christmas cracker contains 4 tracks namely:
The Crystal Ship (originally by The Doors)
Black Sheep (Originally by SRC)
Bangalore (band composition and quite possibly the best song the label has put out so far – Can see this one added to a future volume of Sitar Headswirlers)
This is Strange (Another composition by the Band)
The 2 original tracks come from the bands new album entitled “Alligators Eat Gumdrops”
THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL was and is a cosmic force in the Chicago music scene of the 1990s. In the 1990’s The Luck of Eden Hall released a single and a compilation on Limited Potential Records, one full-length album (the well received “Belladonna Marmalade”), a video that appeared in the New Line Cinema film “The Day My Parents Ran Away” and several EP’s on their own label, Walrus Records.
The Luck of Eden Hall have so far released the albums “Subterrene” in 2007, followed by the critically acclaimed “When The Clock Starts To Wake Up We Go To Sleep” in 2009. In 2010 two music videos were filmed and the band’s version of “Love Is Only Sleeping” was included on the Fruits de Mer Records (UK) compilation “A Phase We’re Going Through”, which was named Album of the Year in Prog Magazine.
2011 brought three releases on FdM Records, including a limited edition colored vinyl EP (that sold out in three days!). Their version of “Lucifer Sam” was included on the cover-mount CD in the May issue of Classic Rock Magazine and LOEH’s epic two volume set “Butterfly Revolutions” was included on “Best of 2011” lists around the world!
This year began with a track on FdM’s tribute to cult psych band “The Pretty Things” classic album “S.F. Sorrow Is Born”, and their latest masterpiece, “Alligators Eat Gumdrops”, a limited edition CD housed in hand embossed gatefold sleeves, has opened to fantastic reviews.
If you would like this latest 7″ EP, as with all Fruits De Mer releases I would advise pre-order and this can be done by clicking on the link at the top of the website you are currently on. If placing an order please mention Box of Dreams.
Thanking you muchly!
A Box of Dreams (UK), November 2012
The Luck of Eden Hall: Alligators Eat Gumdrops
The Luck of Eden Hall son una veterana banda de Chicago especializada en facturar un Psych-Rock de alto quilataje. Su música no repara en pequeños detalles, y a la mínima su sonido despega en un vuelo desbordado de musicalidad. Su creatividad está más supeditada al tipo de sonido que elaboran, un tanto apegado a tradiciones tardo-sesenteras, pero el resultado final es, realmente, de notable: Bangalore, Ten meters over the ground, Green faery, Goodnight Anne Berlin, This is strange, Alligators eat gumdrops… con todo su arsenal de sitares, pedales, efectos, arreglos… son auténticos pildorazos de pura energía rockista-psicodélica. En el resto del disco, The Luck of Eden Hall navegan algo más parsimoniosos sobre aguas menos procelosas, pero igualmente identificados con una Psicodelia suave y algo humeante. En cualquier caso, un disco interesante para amantes del género, ya que tras varias escuchas, parece como si esa sensación de deja vù no dejara de acecharnos. Todo nos suena familiar y conocido, y sin embargo, su escucha es de lo más amena y disfrutable.
Jorge Nunez -The Jangle Box (Spain), November 2012
Keys and Chords
De uit Chicago afkomstige psychedelische rockband The Luck Of Eden Hall is terug met een nieuw album ‘Alligators Eat Gumdrops’. Als voorbode op de nieuwe release presenteert de band in samenspraak met het label Fruits de Mer Records, een 7” single met vier tracks. Een gekleurd vinylexemplaar is beschikbaar op slecht 750 copies en wordt een waar collectors item. De EP begint met The Doors classic ‘Crystal Ship’. Een waar getrouwe versie net als de opvolger ‘Black Sheep’ oorspronkelijk van SRC. Maar de twee originele nummers ‘Bangalore’, die verwijst naar de strekking “batgirl does Bollywood“, en vooral de heavy uitgebalanceerde ‘This Is Strange’ dragen onvoorwaardelijk onze voorkeur. Met een popgetinte gitaarsound herbergt deze laatste track wel heuse hitpotenties.
The Luck Of Eden Hall present modern psych rock and combines that with a 60s classic tunes, all with a briljant effect.
Philip Verhaege (Belgium), November 2012
THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL HAVE RELEASED ‘ALLIGATORS EAT GUMDROPS’ ALBUM
Hey guys. Following last year’s acclaimed Butterfly Revolutions Vol. 2, The Luck Of Eden Hall are back with the brand new Alligators Eat Gumdrops! This psychedelic rock band continues to do what they do best: writing great songs with that flare of psych/rock music. High Heeled Flippers (the piano ballad off the album), Summertime Girl, Amoreena Had Enough Yesterday and Wasting the Days of Youth are my favourite tracks. They are the “softer” songs and I love that they combine the edgier rock songs with these “ballads”. It is a very good album, extremely well produced and if you’re a psychedelic rock fan I am sure you will enjoy this album.
Cesar Live n Loud, November 2012
Various Artists – “The White EP” (Fruits de Mer Records 2012, Crustacean 33, 2 x 7″ vinyl)
Fruits de Mer have been coming up with some cracking ideas for theme albums. The White EP is a double 7″ set with covers of 8 songs by 8 different bands from The Beatles White Album (yeah, I know, technically just titled “The Beatles”). Here’s the rundown:
Three Minute Tease (Anton Barbeau’s band) do a more or less faithful cover of Cry Baby Cry. It’s got a more drugged, valium-like feel than the original, and Barbeau’s vocals alone make it quite different than the The Beatles. I got the same feel from The Seventh Ring Of Saturn’s cover of Savoy Truffle. Not nearly as rocking as the original, it nonetheless has a nice groove, and the jam segment has a cool dirty bar Blues vibe.
If I’d been tasked with assigning The Bevis Frond with their song, Glass Onion certainly would have been on my short list, and sure enough, it sounds exactly what you might expect Glass Onion to sound like if covered by The Bevis Frond. The Luck Of Eden Hall do a nearly spot on cover of Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey. Ditto for Jack Ellister’s spirited Dear Prudence. And Henry Padovani’s Long Long Long sounds like what the song might have if Nick Drake had done it.
Among the more adventurous re-interpretations of the set is The Pretty Things’ sedate rendition of the ultra-aggressive Helter Skelter. The Pretty Things ease the pace considerably, giving the song a steady rhythmic groove, light symphonics, and cool snaking acid guitar licks. But for sheer creative muscle flexing, Cranium Pie’s cover of The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill is the hands down winner for me. Jeeez… how do I describe this? It’s like they were first assigned to cover Revolution #9, got into the spirit of that piece, and then did an about-face and covered Bungalow Bill instead. Considering that Bungalow Bill was one of The Beatles fun novelty type songs, this is some pretty crazy stuff. I love it!
The single will be available mid-December and is limited to 1234 copies, and as usual this is vinyl ONLY, no CDs or downloads. If interested you better hurry because Fruits de Mer releases sell out QUICK!
Aural-Innovations, Jerry Kranitz, November 2012
The Luck of Eden Hall: Crystal Ship / Black Sheep / Bangalore / This Is Strange (2012)
US band THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL appears to be one of the favourite artists of UK label Fruits de Mer Records, and towards the tail end of 2012 they appeared with this 4 track, unnamed EP on Regal Crabomophone, a sublabel of Fruits de Mer catering for original music first and foremost. In this case we’re treated to two cover versions and two originals, the latter pair lifted from the album “Alligators Eat Gumdrops”.
Personally I think the cover versions are the most intriguing ones on this occasion. It’s not a case of superb versus mediocre though, but more a case of superb and very close to that. The cover of The Doors Crystal Ship kicks off in an elegant manner, with gentle guitar licks backed by Mellotron and half spoken vocals on top, with psych dripping guitar intermissions and concluding with a majestic assembly of Mellotron and psychedelic guitar details.
US band SRC are given a run next, and in this take at least Black Sheep comes across as a song with a distinct 60’s beat influence hiding beneath dark toned droning guitars and majestic, flamboyant organ motifs, complete with a nifty and effective psychedelic guitar solo in the middle.
Of their own originals, I found Bangalore to be on par with the opening two pieces, again with something of a 60’s beat music feeling hiding somewhere and perhaps primarily in the vocals department, with an effective blend of chugging 70’s style hard rock type guitar riffs and a brilliant recurring sitar motif as the key elements and contrasts of this fine piece. Concluding effort This Is Strange didn’t impress just as much, the effects treated verse arrangement and gently psychedelic laced recurring guitar solo feature well planned and executed but not quite managing to conjure a magical experience out of this late 60’s oriented heavy psychedelic construction.
Overall this is a very strong production however, among the most interesting releases that Fruits de Mer Records have issued so far in their existence. At least of the ones I’ve had the pleasure to experience so far.
My rating: 95/100
1. Crystal Ship
2. Black Sheep
4. This Is Strange
Olav Bjornsen (Norway), November 2012
Musik Zirkus Magazine
The Luck of Eden Hall-Alligators Eat Gumdrops
Nach den beiden Alben „Butterfly Revolutions“ von The Luck Of Eden Hall, deren beide Teile im Jahr 2011 erscheinen sind, finden die US-Amerikanischen Psychedelicrocker, dass Alligatoren Gummidrops essen. Das Album erscheint in einer auf 200 Exemplare limitierten, von Greg Curvey nummerierten Fassung. Ein echtes Sammlerstück für die Rockfreunde.
Elf Songs hat die Band um Multiinstrumentalist Greg Curvey (Gesang, Gitarren, Zwölfseitige Gitarre, Bass, Sitar, Piano, Theremin, Recorder, Drum-Kit), Mark Lofgren (Gesang, Bass, zwölfseitige Gitarre, Synthesizer), Carlos Mendoza (Drum-Kit), Jim Licka (Mellotron) und als Special Guest Mars Williams am Saxophon auf das neue Album gepackt.
Wie gewohnt bietet die Band eine Mischung aus Psychedelic Rock, Beatmusik und 60s Pop. Recht spacig und mit einigen Streichern beginnt das erste Stück „High Heeled Flippers“, das darauf einige Pianotupfer bietet und mit Gesang aufwartet, den man durchaus auch in Richtung The Beatles verorten kann. Schon diese ersten Klänge nehmen gefangen, da sie eine außergewöhnliche Atmosphäre verströmen. Klanglich ist das Ganze auch auf absolut hohem Niveau.
Nach diesem ersten Stück geht es mit Sitar am Anfang von „Bangalore“ weiter, doch schnell entwickelt sich ein treibendes, druckvolles Rockstück, das Beat und Psychedelic als Grundlage hat. Aber die Jungs haben zusätzlich eine ordentliche Portion Rock darüber ausgeschüttet. Das geht richtig ab.
Psychedelische Beatmusik wird dann in „Ten Meters Over The Ground“ geboten. Streckenweise wirkt das auf mich als würde die Steve Miller Band Beatmusik spielen. Eine irre Mischung. Von der Orgel in Kombination mit Akustikgitarren bestimmt wird dann die Beatnummer „Summertime Girl“. Country-Anleihen mit proggigem Einschlag und Beat-Elementen kommen in „Amoreena Had Enough Yesterday“ an die Reihe. Fast wie eine druckvolle Hawkwind-Nummer wirkt „Green Faery“.
Eine tolle Akustiknummer, die nach einigen Momenten vom Schlagzeug und vom Synthie unterlegt wird, folgt mit „Wasting The Days Of Youth“. Und so abwechslungsreich geht es auch den Rest der Platte weiter. Immer sind es mitreißende Melodien und glasklare, druckvolle Sounds, die das Klangbild von „Alligators Eat Gumdrops“ bestimmen.
The Luck Of Eden Hall aus den vereinigten Staaten bieten auch auf ihrem neuesten Output, „Alligators Eat Gumdrops“, eine perfekte Mischung aus Psychedelic Rock, Beatmusik und 60s Pop. Die Musik nimmt von den ersten Momenten an sofort gefangen. Ein klasse Album, das in limitierter Form auf den Markt kommt. Also schnell zugreifen.
Stephan Schelle (Germany), October 2012
Heyday Mail Order Blog
Luck Of Eden Hall’s latest ‘Alligators Eat Gumdrops’ is a superb album! One of those rare releases with every track worth its inclusion. No ‘filler’…
‘Alligators…’ is intelligent and well arranged pop/psych songwriting with all the right influences. Easy to mention The Beatles (particularly ‘Revolver’ period) but I reckon the band know the best of the rest from the last 50 years as well. Catchy too, I woke up most mornings with one of the songs remaining in my head from the day before, which is pretty amazing! I love my music, I’m deaf without it, but this doesn’t usually happen.
From the reflective piano based opener ‘High Heeled Flippers’ to the driving title track that closes it, it’s a wonderful listen! Check out ‘Bangalore’ with all it’s grooviness and sitar(!), the gorgeous melodies of ‘Summertime Girl’ & ‘Amorina Had Enough Yesterday’, plus the wistful ‘Green Faery’ and ‘Wasting The Days Of Youth’. Another day, another favourite!
Inventiveness too – backwards tape effects, sound samples, mellotron and synths. Kudos for the drumming! Solid throughout with a wicked snare! A well produced piece of work, housed in a hand embossed and numbered card sleeve featuring Curvey’s artwork. 200 copies only!
Nick Leese (UK), October 2012
The Luck of Eden Hall Review
The Luck of Eden Hall has produced a brand new album called “Alligators Eat Gumdrops” on a limited edition CD housed in a very neat hand embossed sleeve. The album begins with the beautiful “High Heeled Flippers” a slow number complete with disjointed lyrics and melancholy piano and Mellotron. This quiet start is soon ripped apart with the onslaught of “Bangalore” with an amazing sitar playing in the background and some upbeat drumming and guitar, Psychedelic yes but old fashioned it isn’t! What I love about this album is how they take the blueprint of psychedelic music and the instrumentation and create amazingly modern sounds. The rest of the album is equally good, “Ten Meters Over The Ground” reminds me of the Pretty Things, with some wonderful sax in the chorus, “Summertime Girl” makes great use of Theremin, and the track that gives the album it’s title is nicely upbeat.
This is my first listen to the band The Luck of Eden Hall, and it won’t be my last. They encapsulate everything I love about sixties Psychedelic music and present it in a way that is fresh and current.
If you are a collector of this kind of music you need to invest in a copy of this now, because in years to come you will kick yourself if you didn’t.
Dale Simpson (UK), October 2012
Gew Gaw Fanzine
Following the Butterfly Revolutions vol on the 2nd the LOEH return with inspirational Alligator Eat Gumdrops . 11 diamonds Psych / Pop aesthetics, that is precisely the sound. The song that opens their new album, High heeled Flippers , based on the piano, the voice of Curvey and echo which gives a more triparisti perspective to pop this song. In bangalore use of sitar boosts rate the summertime Girl is another small pop masterpiece in which theremini simply makes it more exquisite! The Green faery is an exquisite paisley / Psych with extremely psychedelic guitars. The kaleidoscopic A Carney’s Delirium is an ode to the melodies, a dreamy pop song. Overall, the quality of all the compositions are quite high since as shown by Curvey and his friends were watered with the appropriate liquid when they were young. The cd was released in 200 copies in embossed gate – fold and package signed by Curvey . Hurry!
George Markou (Greece), October 2012
The Strange Brew
I’ve heard some excellent psych covers from Chicago’s The Luck Of Eden Hall, and have pondered whether their talent extends to song writing as well as production. Their new LP “Alligators Eat Gumdrops” resoundingly demonstrates their flare for writing great tunes, put through a rock, psych, kaleidoscopic filter.
Imagine Paul McCartney and Geoff Emerick circa Magical Mystery Tour experimenting on an Abbey Road piano and you’ll get an idea of the sound of album opener “High Heeled Flippers”. In fact, let’s get John Lennon doing a rockier Hey Bulldog with George Harrison on sitar, but no less infectious, and you’ll get the feel of The Luck of Eden Hall’s “Bangalore” too.
But I’d like to stress that while echoing some of these great sounds, The Luck of Eden Hall are no retro act and sound as exciting as any band around. Jack White would be proud of “Ten Meters Over the Ground” whilst “Summertime Girl” is a gorgeous ballad.
Probably my favourite track is “Amoreena Had Enough Yesterday”, the fizzing simplicity of those guitar riffs and chord sequences tied a mellotron sound is much harder to construct that it seems. “Green Faery” melds laughing gnome sentiment washed down with a tot of Absinthe.
Lyrics blend psychedelia and reflection with dreamlike ease, “Wasting the Days of Youth” and “Goodnight Anne Berlin” being prime examples.
Another highlight is the moving “A Carney’s Delirium”, an ode to the State Fair outdoing Soft Bulletin era Flaming Lips. All credit to the whole band’s playing too which is superb. This exemplified by “This is Strange” and closer “Alligators Eat Gumdrops” that take the album to a rockier conclusion.
And overall? An extremely inventive, beautifully crafted and bewitching album. But most importantly, excellent songs, more please!
Jason Barnard (UK), September 2012
The Sunday Experience
Staying with things psych, flowery and lysergic many thanks to Mr Curvey of the Luck of Eden Hall for sending over a copy of the bands ultra limited ‘alligators eat gumdrops’ set, there are only 200 of these babies and each come in a gatefold sleeve individually hand embossed and numbered by the great man himself. Should be of need of introductions in these pages for the luck of eden hall have seemingly been embraced into th
e inner circle of fruits de mer’s extended family making ea catching appearances on the labels key note compilations as well as the issue of a the odd sought after long sold out 7 inch platter. ‘alligators eat gumdrops’ follows hard on the heels of the bands acclaimed two volume ‘butterfly revolutions’ set and marks itself out as arguably their finest and most defining to date. Crackling and fizzing with ambition, these eleven cuts flip switch between strut drilled hook happy transistor tormentors and demurring orchestral tweaked psymphonic psyche curios. Upon these grooves you’ll be treated to the frantic buzz sawed sitar saturated ‘Bangalore’ as it whips up a frenzied strut zapped lather as though imagining a prime time Soft Boys relocated to the Marrakesh while the unravelling and rampant ‘ten meters over the ground’ is groomed in a hazily glazed casing all showered in the frothing euphoria of blazing brass fanfares provided for by Mars Williams. It takes only the briefest of listens to realise quickly that the Eden Hall haven’t simply made a psych record per se but have added to their artistry a sonic carnival lushly colourfully and vibrant, a musicalia that fizzes and sizzles on a high end soundboard that freewheels between pummeling power pop, buzz sawing white outs and an emphatic appreciation of a mercurially turned hook heavy pop persona, amid this kaleidoscopic garden of delights a pic n’ mix diet of Van Dyke Parks, Todd Rundgren, soft boys (‘the dream weaving good night anne berlin’ a subtle case in point) epicycle and Roy Wood (more pertinently the Move as on the trace lines bared upon ’green fairy’) are found feeding heavy in the melodic matrix with the first on the mentioned list irrefutably ID’d on the opening ‘high heeled flippers’ whereupon he’s relocated to the psych prog overtures of porcupine tree’s immensely grand ‘stupid dream’ platter albeit as though dipped first of all in the dissipating folds of the murmurs from irma’s warping floyd vision. Somewhere else the wispily pastoral ’summertime girl’ is charmed in the dainty breeze of a lo-fi minimalism that much recalls Freed Unit’s ’gigglegoo’ set while ‘amoreena had enough yesterday’ is so lulled in quiet majesty that it acts as a perfect bed fellow to the bands aforementioned ‘butterfly revolutions’ opus (incidentally Volume 1 in case you were wanting specifics). Those fancying something a little up close and personal will do well to investigate the bullish and scowling ‘Alligators eat gumdrops’ as it ruptures to a db’s mainlining on the Move motif while all said in our much humbled opinion the sets two best moments come tucked near the end grooves. The flange framed ‘this is strange’ ricochets addictively to a power pop throbbed undercarriage that jags, spars and shimmers to a haloing psyche dayglo aura frazzled by a searing grizzled grooving beatnik wooziness that imagines a full on and potent Sweet Apple on a Velvet Crush transfusion while the emotionally sapping ‘ a carney’s dream’ may just leave the meeker amid you needing counselling for as the sets crowning glory this crestfallen psyche glam nugget is ablaze and caressed as a sumptuous symphonic gem lush in tear stained introspection that’s cradled and bruised in heart heavy hurt and buoyed by an enigmatic and deeply alluring aftertaste of a hope beyond. Utterly arresting. Available via the groups band camp site where you can also pick up a poster – something I fancy would look well smart hanging on my wall – hint hint.
Mark Barton (UK), September 2012
Sunrise Ocean Bender
Alligators Eat Gumdrops
A fitting title for the freshest box of hard candy from one of Chicago’s finest: something a little tough, something sweet to chew on…something that pushes back just right when you take a bite. Nuggets or nougats? As expected from The Luck of Eden Hall, a bit o’ both. Their last, Butterfly Revolutions, had a larger scope obviously aided, and abetted, by packing a one-two volume punch, but LOEH still kept it short, sweet and direct. Alligators Eat Gumdrops does the same, though this time the pieces are individually wrapped for your chewing pleasure, many sporting their own unique flavor rather than a creamy frosting spread over the whole cake. There’s a bevy of spices and sprinkles from the sitar dandied crunch-meets-pop of Bangalore, guests Mars Williams’ sax and Jim Licka’s Mellotron, Summertime Girl’s playful cathedral-of-the-60s keys, to the slight folky acoustic accent on Wasting the Days of Youth that makes it seem like Tull might have gingerly, and surreptitiously, stuck their dirty fluted finger in the box. LOEH know how to lead you in by the hand for the first bite, and opener High Heeled Flippers doesn’t let you down, luring you in with a Beatlesque whiff that not only lets the new know where LOEH butter one side of their bread, but also undercuts some of their winsome, mild melancholy with their playfulness. There’s something about the production that seems a little tougher, a little more direct in the chomp, from Lofgren and Mendoza’s always great bottom-end through the guitar grind, to Curvey fraying his pipes over the blowing on Ten Meters Over the Ground. Ornate without being frilly, poppy without being wimpy, it’s LOEH’s trademark coloring of hardy pop with 60s psych. Pop and psych meet headfirst all the time; worked the first time, works now in the hands of outfits like LOEH. Contrary to what’s in the poisonous air, both sides can still meet in the mixing bowl and get it done. Doing that in these rancid partisan times with no bitter aftertaste, without one side losing to the other, without a sour dose of sarcasm, is what Alligators Eat Gumdrops, and LOEH, are about. Summertime Girl certainly knows this…There’s a common goal in mind and they work together to get there. Never a compromise, but a buttery consensus where the machinations are as well-intentioned as they are well-oiled.
Alligators Eats Gumdrops is available in a limited edition of 200, with hand embossed art by Curvey and a bonus track download, Queen of the Stars.
Mr. Atavist (USA), August 2012
Southside On The Town
Hey, blogspot readers, it’s a double shot weekend! That’s right, this busy reviewer will be doing “back to back” shows at Wicker Park’s hip rock venue – Double Door. There she will be checking out the latest NoVo Arts Inc bands rockin’ the stage on Saturday and Sunday nights. Tonight, it was cosmic wizardry off a mellotron amidst a groovilicious burst of classic psychedelic rock and gritty Southern Blues rock from west of the Mississippi River entertaining the audience at this FREE show. SouthSide highly recommends rockin’ your ears (as well as attending their next performances) to Chicago’s The Luck of Eden Hall and Salt Lake City’s Max Pain and The Groovies!
Far out, blogspot readers! Let’s glide on this groovy wave trip of psychedelia that will blow your mind away. Get hypnotized by the spinning wheel on stage while immersing the ears into the intense guitar riffs, mellotron floetry and lyrical poetry all co-mingling nicely within a vibrant yet at times peaceful harmonies. Immediately, SouthSide felt like a flower power child trippin’ on daisy chains and love as she was being internally connected with Luck’s central songwriting themes wonderfully laced inside their lyrics. She enjoyed the flowery prose that sparked image-filled words (ie she suggests listening to Jupiter and Queen Anne’s Lace). However, there’s a modern twist to this band’s throwback psychedelic groove, blogspot readers. The band’s music does contain a strong but electrifying rock background for you to band your head to.
Still when the mellotron takes center stage on the melodic harmonies to balance out the raw edginess – watch out! That’s when you will totally feel the groovilicious pyschedelic rhythms and floetry all at once. Toss in Double Door’s far out lighting fx and you instantly felt you’re part of the hip scene from the late 60s/early 70s, blogspot readers. There’s even a cowbell (gotta love the cowbell sound in any song) to add some organic percussion rhythm. It was one wild space trip! This reviewer, in all honesty, had never experienced a show like this in a long time …not even expecting Luck to rock the stage like they did after previewing their music online. She suggests tasting the waters with Chrysalide before Using All The Colors to make A Drop In The Ocean and then ending with Luck’s Velvet and Corduroy. You can find Luck of Eden Hall on Facebook and Reverbnation, blogspot readers.
Crashing hard from her psychedelic ride on Luck of Eden Hall’s mothership, this reviewer soon found herself groovin’ again but this time to the gritty guitar riffs of Utah’s version of Southern Blues rock by Max Pain and The Groovies. Currently on tour – partying their way across America (you should have heard about their wild night in Iowa City, IA), this traveling band of rockers burst onto the Double Door stage with an explosive bang of rock and gyrating dance moves which immediately caught the audience’s attention. They’re definitely a wild bunch from the westside of the mighty Mississippi (River) igniting the ears (and souls) with such music fury and dazzling delights that front man Max broke his tambourine to pieces! And believe it or not, this was the band’s first visit to the Windy City yet you wouldn’t have known it by the way they were performing, blogspot readers. They wasted no time in getting down to the business of rockin’ out Chicago under an electrifying high energy sound and momentum off three guitars for that gritty stamina amidst thunderous percussion rhythms.
Also this reviewer enjoyed Max’s raw falsetto which added a touch of that rusty Blues vocal tone to each of The Groovies’ songs. It was a powerful combination felt as well as heard in tunes like Raw Dog, Put Away and Off The Wall. Even while taking the infectious energy down a notch to focus on his vocal style, there was still enough fire and grit to keep things rather hot and steamy …and SouthSide isn’t talking about the rising humidity and temperature happening outside either, blogspot readers. Max and the band certainly created their own heat to have this reviewer drenched within their rockin’ hotness for this particular quick song. Watching Max literally melt the microphone with not only his voice but also his charimatic charm and stage presence was enough to set off the sprinklers inside the venue. Hot twitterpating riffs to seduce any modest virgin’s soul to the gritty sound of southern rock that will set ablaze your head banging ways – this band from Utah is the one to see this summer. *fans self* Whoa …that was a hot set! Look for Max Pain and The Groovies on Facebook, blogspot readers.
Until next time, support your local scene!
SouthSide (USA), June 2012
THE LUCK OF EDEN HALL – Butterfly Revolutions Vol.2
I can’t think of any US band playing the psychedelic pop 60s with such freshness and inspiration as Gregory Curvey and his band does. Just before the year (2011) of the Butterfly expired, the band from Chicago kept its promise and released the follow-up to Butterfly Revolutions, the promising Vol.2. The recipe remains quite the same, but without becoming boring either for just a second from the 41:08 of the album. Gregory (mastermind of LOEH) has the ability/privilege to create beautiful pop-psych tunes through a procedure that he calls it ‘Popped Psychedelic Rock and Rollism’ (sic!). So, what we have here are 12 songs full of 60s influences (from the Beatles and the Byrds to Stones and Love) filtered with today’s sound. A mix of melodic, dreamy psychedelically catchy tunes that sometimes becoming a little more heavier or rock-oriented, all dressed with nice vocals, interesting effects under a great musicianship. Album starts in a real smooth way with the lyrical & dreamy “Metropolis” but continues in a more speedy way with the more 70s-less 60s heavy rocker “Complicated Mind”. “Caroline” and “North Hampton Woods” are sweet psych-ballads that bring to mind the mellower moments of their homies (and good friends too) Smashing Pumpkins. It’s because of songs like “The Ottoman Girl” that make them the ideal band to open with “SF Sorrow is Born” the Fruits de Mer Tribute Compilation “Sorrow’s Children”. One of the best moments of the album follows, the late-Beatlesque “Henrietta Lacks A Smile” with a great use of piano and strings. “Flowers” and “Whither Fare Thou Be” are the rockier tunes here with a touch of psych of course. “Revolutions” acts like a soft & slow organic interlude, while “Realization Loop” increases the volume to high levels. “We Are Not Self Control” has a dreamy relaxing melody and album closes with my personal highlight, the psychedelically flavoured “A Drop In The Ocean”. Butterfly has spoken. Follow her Oracle!
Time Lord Michalis (Greece), April 2012
Here Comes The Flood
Chicago neo-psychedelic trio The Luck of Eden Hall have pulled it off. They have finished their ambitious 2CD project Butterfly Revolutions. On the first disc early Pink Floyd and The zombies reigned supreme. They have added The Beatles, The Move and Jethro Tull as their major sources of inspiration.
Vol. 2 hits a bit harder than its predecessor. Complicated Mind, Flowers and the surf guitar of Revolution Loop can be pigeonholed as garage pop, but as whole they have retained the pastoral sound, most notably in Revolutions and the sad piano ballad Henrietta Lacks A Smile. The Luck of Eden Hall are not cool enough for the hipster crowd, but indie lovers who can handle a bit of well-executed nostalgia will cherish their perseverance.
Sorrow’s Children LP
“Various artist renditions of rock operas can be fraught with disaster(“Tommy, can you hear me?”), but Fruits de Mer’s tribute to the Pretties’ beloved warhorse succeeds because, from the unforgettable opening of The Luck Of Eden Hall’s punchy ‘ SF Sorrow Is Born’, it’s clear these artists are bringing their unique persective to the material and are not just replicating the S.F. Sorrow songbook. Sky Picnic drapes a proggy cloak over the sitar-laden ‘Bracelet of Fingers’ Hi-Fiction Science’s female vocals on ‘Private Sorrow’ perfectly encapsulate a mother’s anguish over her son’s wartime adventures, and Langor and The Seventh Ring of Saturn add a proto-metal attack to ‘Balloon Burning’ and ‘Death’.
Although the folkier elements have been buried under a barrage of guitars and effects, there’s enough interestingly askew arrangements to breathe life into the old chestnut and the Pretties themselves contribute an exclusive live bonus track, ‘Loneliest Person’ from a 2010 100 Club performance”
Jeff Penczak (UK), April 2012
A Tune of a Note
Local Listen: The Luck of Eden Hall
Psychedelic rock music came in many varieties from the late ’60s onward, and it’s admittedly difficult to give a definition of what it is. Instead, it’s perhaps better to list the form’s elements: hazy atmosphere, lyrics citing out-of-this-world (or skewed of-this-world, drug induced) phenomena, heavy, swirly guitars, and guys in Austin Powers costumes doing the boogie. Well, that last bit only applies to anything ’60s British psych, like Cream, Hendrix, or early Floyd. And that era’s haziness is different than, say late ’80s/early ’90s shoegaze psych revival haziness. So – even the elements of psychedelic music have changed through its arrival and resurrections, and we’re left with the original issue of definition difficulty. Still, Chicago band The Luck of Eden Hall manage to hit all parts of the psych stew on their latest album, Butterfly Revolutions Vol. 2 (self-released, Oct. 2011). The twelfth or so record (the one before bares the same title in its first volume) to come out under the Eden Hall name shows the trio are no spring chickens. Eden Hall has gone through a few lineup changes since starting in the late ’80s, but their ability to cover a large chunk of psych rock history in this latest release points to their cohesion. Listeners can judge for themselves what sticks, but you can’t say the guys didn’t do their homework. On the first level of classic psych adaptation , Vol. 2 takes cues from best of Cream jams, (“Flowers”) and “Eleanor Rigby”-style ballads on “Henrietta Lacks a Smile”- here a less bouncy and ominous sound; more observant and reflective. The later strangely sounds better once you learn the back-story and any idea of the band trying to be cute falls away. Search and read up on a certain Henrietta Lacks; you’ll be impressed by the play on words in the title and playful-yet-sincere logic in the lyrics. While this is all fine, the real nature of the band breaks out in songs like “Caroline,” “Revolutions,” “We Are Not Self Control,” and the sprawling “A Drop in the Ocean.” They all feature bits reminiscent of early ’90s British invasion (yes…shoegaze again) band Ride, around the time of Nowhere or even heavy hitters on their follow-up Going Blank Again. “Drop” has a quick gear change of tempo spring following the second verse, and “Caroline” has a ragged guitar-heavy attitude. It’s a little tricky to figure out exactly what this band is trying to get across and how they want to be perceived with all these influences. But repeat listens will expose their talent as a group whose seemingly best-of catch all music making philosophy is sure to please many.
Konstantin Bezzubov (USA), February 2012
JP’s Music Blog
The Luck of Eden Hall Bring On The Second Coming Of “Butterflies”
Psychedelic rockers The Luck of Eden Hall have recently released their follow-up to “Butterfly Revolutions, Vol. 1,” with “Butterfly Revolutions, Vol. 2.” They capped of their “year of the butterfly” with a well-deserved follow-up that was recorded and the same time as the first volume. The Luck of Eden Hall polished up the songs for this new release, which gives the band twice as much material to expand their sound (and mind).
The new album begins with the Peter Gabriel sounding “Metropolis” before diving into their psychedelic rock sound on “Complicated Mind.” The folk gatherings of “North Hampton Woods” breaks up the edginess of “Caroline” and “The Ottoman Girl” as the band seems poised to bring the 60’s rock into today’s world. The band brings out the garage rock with “Realization Loop” and “We Are Not Self Control,” before finishing with the experimental, head-swimming sounds of “A Drop In The Ocean.”
The Luck of Eden Hall has two shows scheduled in March, supporting Jefferson Starship on their appearance at Reggies in Chicago. Check out the band’s website (theluckofedenhall.com) for more information on this rising psychedelic rock band.
J Pasinski (USA), February 2012
Opening with a similar eastern sounding swirl, The Luck of Eden Hall tread the same musical path on “Butterfly Revolutions vol. 2”, their latest and quite possibly finest album. Classically psychedelic right from the start, “Metropolis” is a fine beginning, sounding like a cross between Plasticland and Todd Rundgren (“a wizard, a true star” era), before “Complicated Mind” ups the energy levels a lively tune with bright production and fine playing all round.
With a beautiful melody, “North Hampton Wood” has a soft pastoral feel, like stepping into someone else’s dream, whilst “The Ottoman Girl” could be an outtake from “SF Sorrow”, which is no bad thing in my book, especially as the tune is followed by the brilliant “Henrietta Lacks a Smile”, gentle piano and weird lyrics combing to create a little gem of a song. The quality is continued on the heavy psych-pop groove of “Flowers”, ending a very strong trio of songs.
Moving on, “Revolution” will make you smile with its lyrics, “Realization Loop” will make you dance like a loon and “We Are Not Self Control” will let you drift in your armchair, the album finally ending with “A Drop In the Ocean”, another suitably trippy tune, filled with echo and power, guaranteed to make you feel good.
Simon Lewis (UK), December 2011
Broken Hearted Toy
The Luck Of Eden Hall didn’t keep its followers waiting long for the second half of its ambitious Butterfly Revolutions project. ‘Followers’ is the operative word here as the veteran Chicago band travels through imaginative landscapes and dabbles in transcendental philosophy. It’s an album where lead vocalist-guitarist Gregory Curvey asks, “How does it feel to be a drop in the ocean?” and answers his own question with, “You already know.”
The 12 tracks are set to a variety of psychedelic and prog rock arrangements. The acoustic “North Hampton Woods,” with its exquisite melody and evocative vocals, just might be the most enchanting moment on Vol. 2, although The Luck Of Eden Hall also succeeds with the hard-hitting “Realization Loop” and “Complicated Mind.” Titles like “Whither Fare Thou Be” and “Henrietta Lacks A Smile” promise a trip back to the baroque pop of the early Bee Gees, and the songs certainly deliver. The epic “A Drop In The Ocean” serves as an appropriate coda to the Butterfly Revolutions saga.
Terry Flamm (USA), January 2012
The Luck Of Eden Hall with their latest release, give us again beautiful 2min. & 3min. psych-pop, mostly, music. Their songs having excellent guitar, thrilled vocals and great melody. For me their best and most representatives to their sound songs are: North Hampton Woods which is a sweet’ n’ mellow pop ballad and Henrietta Lacks A Smile which is a rather simple song nevertheless in 5.29min coexist a dreamy organ with trippy parts plus a music explosion! In addition ‘Revolutions’ has a simple melody with psychedelic guitar and bass, without strange instrumentations, but it is a great song that sticks in mind!!! Don’t forget to mention ‘a drop in the ocean’: another awesome psychedelic song!! The Luck of Eden Hall is a band full of talent and energy. Keep giving us those magnificent sunshine songs!!
George Markou (Greece), January 2012
The Luck of Eden Hall drops Butterfly Revolutions Vol.2
A companion piece to last year’s acclaimed Butterfly Revolutions, Vol. 1, BRV2 once again proves that The Luck of Eden Hall is one of the most underrated psych outfits in Chicago.
TLOEH has been knocking around the windy city on and off since the late 80s. At one time, they were headlining Metro and sharing stages with Material Issue, Green and other local luminaries. In the 90s, they could count Jim Derogatis and Billy Corgan as fans. Last year’s BRV1 has received universal acclaim and radio airplay (including WLUW) all over the world.
Butterfly Revolutions Vol. 2 picks up nicely where Vol. 1 left off (quite literally with that album’s final track, “Queen Anne’s Lace”). BRV2 has all of that song’s beautiful, spaced-out moodiness.
BRV2 opens with “Metropolis,” a psychedelic ode to Fritz Lang’s silent film masterpiece of the same name. By track four, the wonderful “North Hampton Woods,” The Luck of Eden Hall is channeling the best elements of The Dandy Warhols, circa Come Down. The midpoint of the album, “Henrietta Lacks a Smile,” is absolutely stunning; a melancholy, piano-driven charmer. “Revolutions,” the shortest track on the record, recalls Love and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd. The ultra cool “We Are Not Self Control” benefits from dream time vocals and warm, fuzzy guitar. Album closer “A Drop in the Ocean,” is epic space rock in the vein of Spiritualized.
The Luck of Eden Hall will be appearing on the Razor & Die show on WLUW tomorrow (Jan. 13) at 5PM CST. The official record release for Butterfly Revolutions, Vol. 2 will take place at Abbey Pub on Friday, Jan. 20. Tickets and more info here.
Lee (USA), January 2012
Musik Zirkus Magazine
The Luck Of Eden Hall – Butterfly Revolutions Vol. 2
Google Translation-Middle of this year was the first part of the “Butterfly Revolution” by The Luck Of Eden Hall came on the market and just before I reached the end of the second part of this two-part work. A dozen new songs, the band project of guitarist Greg Curvey and Mark Lofgren bassist housed on the second disc. Were you angry, you could argue that both disks have been well on a CD, because it put together the pieces of both parts to just over 78 minutes. But no matter.
Since the PromoCD this time no details were included, I’m assuming that besides the main actors and the musicians of the first CD are on board again.
In “Butterfly Revolution Vol 1”, originally from Chicago, presented the band is a mixture of psychedelic rock, beat music and 60s pop. In the second part, they include a seamless continuation of this style. One would be the songs as well can imagine on a silver disc, because they exude the same atmosphere as The Luck Of Eden Hall on Vol 1 has already caused.
It starts with sitar sounds and the crackling noise at the beginning of the opener “Metropolis”. Hereby give The Luck Of Eden Hall, the impression of a needle that is placed on a record. They lead the listener back at the beginning in the good old 60s and 70s. This has been very psychedelic at the very beginning, but later in the song with mellotron, beautiful guitar, and later supplemented by a crisp rhythm. This has something at the end of the psychedelic period of The Beatles.
It continues with the drifting pieces “Complicated Mind”, which combines both the 60s as well as more modern sounds together. Even if you drift off stylistically far into the past, so the music sounds anything but dusty. This is simply intoxicating. As on Vol 1, I know many feel the music and it always surprises with new melodies and rhythms to be. The Luck Of Eden Hall have just the right blend of both worlds combined. A good example of this is sounding “Caroline” in which the guitars pretty modern, but as the song from another time.
Move through the acoustic guitar and vocals The Luck Of Eden Hall in the play “North Hampton Woods” again very strong in the vicinity of the Beatles. And the Fab Four (especially their psychedelic phase) sparkle, not only in this piece, but are also worshiped in other plays.
With “Butterfly Revolution Vol 2” The Luck Of Eden Hall has been successful to a good second part of Volume 1, published in the spring of 2011, which makes exactly as much fun and so relaxed, sounds like it did the first part. Who on the sound of 60’s is a modern twist, this disc gets a good offer, but for my taste – has fallen somewhat short – as the volume of first
Stephen Schelle (Germany), January 2011
Released just before Christmas, Butterfly Revolutions Vol. 2 continues splendidly where Vol. 1 released earlier in 2011 left us: longing for another fix of some of the best psych pop in the world right now! I’ve been a fan of this excellent band from the US since their resurrection in the mid 00’s and it seems they have a limitless amount of great tunes.
This 41-minute CD includes 12 tracks and one of these (”The Ottoman Girl”) has been previously released on the instantly sold-out EP on Regal Crabomophone (WINGLE 3). The band’s music has been influenced by several 60’s bands (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, Love…) but there are also some similarities with ore recent music like The Smashing Pumpkins who they are also friends with. Anyway, The Luck of Eden Hall really knows how to write brilliant, melodic, catchy and beautiful pop/rock tunes! They might be at their best on the dreamy, soft ballads but these guys can also rock out with a bit heavier, fuzz-filled touch and at times they go into even highly psychedelic, hallucinatory worlds although the music mainly is quite approachable and even radio friendly in a good way. The soft, very pleasant vocals, skillful guitar work and really tight and capable rhythm section as well as the keyboards and effects they use when needed complete the compositions very close to perfection. It’s really hard for me to pick up any favorites from Vol. 2 but the last two tracks ”We’re Are Not Self Control” and ”A Drop in the Ocean” might be the most psychedelic. Also the fast “Complicated Mind” somehow stands out as does the acoustic-driven, fragile ”North Hampton Woods” that differs a bit from the usual stuff. The album is available on CD and digital download and we must hope that someone would be smart enough to release Vol. 1 & 2 as a double vinyl album soon…
DJ Astro (Finland), January 2012
The Luck of Eden Hall open up to full wingspan on The Butterfly Revolutions, Vol. 2. Calling it a follow-up or a bookend to Vol. 1 seems a misnomer in both cases. A follow-up implies a continuation, and Vol. 2 is certainly that, but it also raises the unspoken whiff of repetition and ‘more of the same.’ The repetition here is of more top-shelf psych pop that doesn’t get bogged down in rehashed self-hoariness. The bar is still set high, high enough that your dessert tray just got fuller with the cookie jar still in reach. This time there are a few more bittersweet offerings than before for you to stick your fingers in and bite into. Bookend maybe, if you want to lump 1 & 2 together into some sort of concept outing, and there very may well may be one buried underneath LOEH’s layers of sonic icing, but that makes it more complicated than it needs to be. Right now, just grab another slice and dig in; we now have a double-layer cake to enjoy. That could very well be the concept right there, served with a touch more melancholy, but still going down as smooth as before. This time though, it may just wiggle that loose or overworked sweet tooth a bit as it goes down for a twinge to remind you why the high times seem a bit higher when you got some contrast…Vol 2. has your required allowance of contrast under the wrapper; there’s the rush of Complicated Mind or the hazy stomp of Flowers, backed up with dreamier cuts like North Hampton Wood or the piano-spined Henrietta Lacks A Smile. When you cave and grab that fifth piece of dessert, it always tastes good, but deep down you know it’s going straight to your hips… a little dash of poignancy makes it all the sweeter.
Why this revolution came in two parts we’ll have to find out later, but for now, indulge and enjoy the bounty. Rich as ever and still fat-free…that’s an elusive sweet spot that LOEH have their wings full wrapped around.
Mr. Atavist (USA), December 2011
This is what ‘pop’ music should be: honeyed, thick, creamy and packing stones. Everyone who should know, knows pop disintegrated into empty calorie pabulum a long, long time ago and I for one need nourishment from my food. Butterfly Revolutions Vol. 1, the new outing from Chicago’s The Luck of Eden Hall proves that you can not only have your cake (with lots of frosting) and eat it too, but that you can get more than a cheap sugar rush out of it to keep going. I’m a firm believer that cream doesn’t rise to the top; shit floats. I’m happy to say that LOEH prove me wrong. Relentlessly filled to the brim with top-shelf psych-pop nuggets calling to mind a myriad of touchstones from The Beatles through to The Bevis Frond, LOEH have such a firm grasp on their ingredients that Butterfly is never half-baked, in approach or execution. Nobody really wants low-fat dessert; that never satisfies. So, LOEH keep the the fuzz on the peach with melodies that flow like syrup; it may just crystal more than it rocks if that makes sense. In my book, crystals are worth more.
Opener Chrysalide sets the bar high. Relentlessly ornate and paisley, it sets Butterfly firmly on track with the mission clear, and in their hands, fully reachable. Velvet and Corduroy follows suit, a mission statement if there ever was one; a mission of molasses that never stagnates into stale treading water retro treacle. LOEH’s buttery psych is churned with enough of the old and new to give a full-bodied taste that should appeal to traditionalists as well as those who want some more modern leanings (All Her Seasick Parties) in the mix. Mellowed out Jupiter and Pretty Little Things hit a touching sentimentality without getting maudlin; LOEH aren’t applying the frosting so thick it’s impenetrable, or so over done it’s nauseating in the richness of it all.
Butterfly Revolutions almost screams (if butterflies scream…I think they do…) for a Thesaurus…shimmering, sun-drenched, multi-colored…the title about says it all, contrasting something as elusive and fluttering as a butterfly with a word that hints at power as well at what you should do with this record; put it through some revolutions. LOEH have cooked up a lip-smacking layered sonic cake, and it’s clear there was some drinking in the kitchen again…pop the cap off your lava lamp and take a swig.
It tastes good, and it’s good for you.
Mr. Atavist (USA), December 2011
VARIOUS ARTISTS – KEEP OFF THE GRASS (LP)
Opening with some chiming guitar and hand drums, King Penguin sound languid and reasonably stoned on “Thoughts and Words”, the sound of a sitar giving that authentic sixties ambience, a great start. Covering one of my favourite songs, “Ten Thousand Words in a Cardboard Box” gives The Seventh Ring of Heaven extra brownie points, the fact that they get it spot on is just a complete delight, keeping the song’s lysergic intensity and adding some energy of their own. Live and also filled with energy, Stay get their teeth into “Back of Your Mind”, sounding like it was a good night, before Permanent Clear Light do wonderful things to “Cymbaline”, giving it a nice smoky haze.
Featuring some fine guitar work, Sendelica may possibly improve on, or at least remove the cheesiness of, “Journey to the Center of the Mind”, certainly the playing is tighter and the phaser is turned way up. Tackling the second Nazz song of the disc, Jay Tausig is faithful to the original as he gives “Open My Eyes” the once over, realising you can’t mess with perfection. Firmly ensconced in 1967, Extra produce a wonderful cover of “Utterly Simple” on of the Album’s highlight for me, patchouli is almost compulsory.
Enchanting the senses “Sunshine River” is covered blissfully by Zombies of the Stratosphere, whilst a spooky psychedelic atmosphere is conjured up by The Past Tense on their version of “Shattered”. To end the first LP, Hills Have Riffs retain the strangeness of The Godz on their excellent version of “Down By the River”, proving power does not mean volume, as they up the tension beautifully.
Opening with a ten minute version of “Welcome to the Citadel”, Cranium Pie’s Baking Research Station, take the compilation into Prog territory, a sprawling effort that manages to avoid too many time changes, more Porcupine Tree than Magma, the whole thing gliding by in no time at all. Next up one of my favourites on the LP, a rather fine cover of “Revolution” from Sky Picnic, female vocals giving the song a new twist that works well.
Opening with a wrench of feedback Dead Sea Apes’ version of “Land of The Sun” is a sonic masterpiece to be savoured, a powerful and brooding beast that need loads of volume to scramble your senses properly. Back to the Psych-Pop, Octopus Syng offer a bright and sparkling “Midsummer Night’s Dream” before we go to the west coast as The Daedalus Spirit Orchestra take on possibly the most famous psych track of all time, their version of “White Rabbit” slower and more brooding than the original, working well in its own right. Sticking to the original template, “Something In the Air”, sounds as stately as ever in the hands of The Luck of Eden Hall”, whilst Langor do justice to that Beatles obscurity “Rain”.
To round off the LP, Bevis Frond Makes “Creepin’ Around” his own, his guitar work as delicious as ever, before The Earthling Society end it all with “Dark Side of the Mushroom”, a suitably trippy arrangement that leaves you fulfilled and slightly deranged, what a long strange trip its been, but worth every moment.
Terrascope (UK), December 2011
“Phew, this double vinyl album must be the greatest compilation this year if not the whole decade… Keep off the Grass is the most comprehensive release by the splendid Fruits de Mer label that (as most of our readers already know) is specialized in putting out new cover versions of psychedelic classics and rarities from the 60’s and 70’s. Most of the Fruits de Mer releases are on 7” format but this album was preceded by two other, marvelous and sold-out vinyl albums, A Phase We’re Going Through and Roqueting Through Space. This time there are as many as 19 international bands featured, some of which we are already familiar with, some are previously unknown. There are absolutely no fillers included so Andy and Keith really have done a great job putting the album together. Stylistically, we’ve got everything from sunshine psych pop through acoustic psychedelia to harder fuzz rock, 85 minutes all in all. And this stuff really expands your mind!
The first disc has ten tracks on it. The most famous tracks are the pretty modern sounding (but in a good way!) The Byrds cover “Thoughts & Words” performed by King Penguin and the great and distinctive version of Pink Floyd’s “Cymbaline” by Finnish band Permanent Clear Light. One of my favorites in this disc is Sendelica’s highly psychedelic, groovy and tightly rocking ”Journey to the Center of the Mind” (Amboy Dukes). I can hardly wait for the band’s gig at our Psychotropic Caravan club on 2.2.2012! Another brilliant piece is for example The Past Tense’s version of The Good Feelin’s song “Shattered”. On the second disc we’ve got an almost ten-minute-long Marck Brierley cover ”Welcome to the Citadel” made by Cranium Pie’s Baking Research Station. This is laid-back but hallucinatory jazzy prog. Excellent! Fruits de Mer recently released Cranium Pie’s amazing debut album on Fruits de Mer’s side-label. Sky Picnic who have one album out on Nasoni perform Tomorrow’s ”Revolution” and Dead Sea Apes who I run into earlier this year an interesting rendition of the late Skip Spence track “Land of the Sun”. I must admit that I might have something to do with the fact that Helsinki-based Octopus Syng is featured on this album, but their version of John’s Children’s (an early band of Marc Bolan) ”Midsummer Night’s Scene” is still one of the best moments on this album! The most well-known songs on the second disc might be Jefferson Airplane’s ”White Rabbit” (performed here by The Deadalus Spirit Orchestra) and of course The Beatles song “Rain” (Langor). The Luck of Eden Hall shines again with their performance of ”Something In The Air” (Thunderclap Newman). I am greatly pleased by the fact that my old favorites The Bevis Frond, who have activated again this year with a new, killer album and some live action are now featured on a Fruits de Mer release for the first time! On the basis of the sound quality, Sky Saxon Blues Band’s “Creepin’ About” is apparently one of Nick Saloman’s old bed-room recordings but it still works out great. Absolutely one of the best tracks of the whole compilation is Chocolate Watch Band’s ”Dark Side of the Mushroom” played by the forever-amazing Earthling Society! Every self-respecting psych lover should get this album that will be out in December but pre-ordering is recommended since the about 500 copies will sell-out like hot cakes…”
Santtu Laakso (Finland), December 2011
“Named after a 13th century drinking glass made in spain that’s reputed to be a fairy cup with mystical powers, The Luck of Eden Hall have been casting their own psychedelic fairy dust over cassettes, CDs and vinyl since the late 80s. After three silent years, the Chicago-based trio is back with the two-part album Butterfly Revolutions and this excellent limited edition coloured vinyl EP released on new Fruits de Mer imprint Regal Crabomophone.
The disc is split down the middle with two beautiful dreamy pop-psych originals, ‘Chrysalide’ and ‘The Ottoman Girl’, gracing side one and imaginative interpretations of Love’s ‘She Comes In Colours’ and The Association’s ‘Never My Love’ on the flip. Although the covers are superb, with ‘Never My Love’ transformed into an emotive, spiralling slice of sitar-laced introspection, it’s the originals that spellbind with their fluctuating lysergic soft/loud dynamics.”
Alan Brown (UK), Nov. 2011
The Luck of Eden Hall :: The Butterfly Revolutions, Vol. 1
A pure blast of confectionary psych goodness, The Butterfly Revolutions, Vol 1. is another pure gem of a record. From the stellar Chrysalide (a hit in every true sense of the word…in a perfect world) on through, it’s an addicting spin that is polished to a buttery finish without losing any stones. If you can get fat on this, then truly, fat is where it’s at. If you were lucky enough to nab their recent She Comes in Colors EP, or an earlier outing, you know exactly how honeyed and harmonious it is.
I hope my teeth rot.
Mr. Atavist (USA), Nov. 2011
Veteran psychedelic trio The Luck Of Eden Hall has an eternal obsession for the 1960s, and Butterfly Revolutions Vol. 1. (Vol. 2 will be released soon) could have easily come from that era. There’s plenty of variety amid the 12 mind-expanding tracks, from the energetic “Chrysalide,” with its references to “frolicking in the sky,” to the ornate “Queen Anne’s Lace.” The melodies are consistently inventive, particularly on the high-speed “She Falls Down” and tripped-out “All Her Seasick Parties.”
Terrence Flamm (USA), Nov. 2011
The Luck of Eden Hall, stars of Chicago’s nineties neo-psych movement, are two decades after their inception in great form weaving a sixties psych feel with modern rock influences. Their new EP contains two sixties interpretations alongside a nice pair of their own gems that are a welcome addition to their respected canon.
It’s challenging to place two self penned nuggets alongside a couple of genre defining classics but they more than hold their own. Kicking off with what feels like a musical call to arms “Chrysalide” is a great band performance, psych pop of the highest order. It must be excellent live! “The Ottoman Girl” goes back and forth from a slow psych start and into a rocking core beautifully.
“She Comes In Colors”, Arthur Lee’s masterpiece from Da Capo, is always going to be an ambitious choice and many bands would not be up for the challenge. The Luck of Eden Hall does not does radically revise Lee’s classic but it’s successfully sparkier and punchier – ultimately like hearing from an old friend who’s sounding better than ever.
Over in the US, The Association’s “Never My Love” is one the most popular tracks in music history. I have always found it a little too smooth and favoured The Casuals more baroque cover from these shores. The Luck Of Eden Hall go for an eastern flavour, rather like George Harrison guesting on sitar to psych the track up whilst retaining the timeless melody. Magical.
Another great release from the Fruits de Mer label and a perfect match up with The Luck of Eden Hall. The band boast Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins as a fan and the Strange Brew can definitely see why.
Jason Barnard (UK), Sept. 2011
Cuando oímos material de una banda algo veterana en estas lides no solemos tener la idea de que lo que vamos a oír nos vaya a gustar. Para qué engañarnos. Llamadlo prejuicios pero lo cierto es que mucho material de bandas ya curtidas no suele interesarnos. En el caso de The Luck of Eden Hall, una recomendación llegada a nuestro correo, la cosa es algo diferente. Primero porque aunque son un grupo veterano, éste es tan sólo su cuarto disco. Y segundo, porque el material es muy muy digerible. Sus convicciones son muy claras: no suenan absolutamente a nada que puedas oír en el actual panorama musica. Permanecen absolutamente al margen de cualquier etiqueta o influencia actualmente reconocible. Sus huellas musicales son fáciles de rastrear: el Pop-Psicodélico y los inicios del Rock Progresivo. En base a ello, The Luck of Eden Hall ha construido un disco más que sugerente y atractivo. Doce temas que tienen un desarrollo particular cada uno, mezclándose esos elementos aludidos: el Pop-Psicodélico (Chrysalide, Jupiter, Velvet and corduroy, This weather is better for velvet´s clothes, Silly girl), con el Rock más progresivo (Medicine queen), o sencillamente con señales del Power-Pop más enérgico (Shampoo, She falls down, All her seasick parties). The Luck of Eden Hall acaban de editar este Butterfly revolutions Vol.1 este mismo verano, pero por si te interesan, lo mejor es que prometen la publicación de un segundo volumen para este mismo final de año
Google translation:When we hear of a band something material veteran in these conflicts do not often have the idea that what we’re going to hear going to like. To deceive. Call it bias but the truth is that much material is usually tanned and bands interested. In the case of The Luck of Eden Hall, a recommendation arrived in our mail, the thing is something different. First, because although they are a veteran group, it is only their fourth album