Lumerians – The High Frontier
Like Geoff Barrow's BEAK>, Lumerians are naturally gifted musicians whose playing meshes perfectly, with influences that span psychedelia and experimental rock from across the decades. Unapologetically retro, tracks like opener Dogon Genesis start out as an effective pastiche of 1960s psych-rock, nodding to The Doors and Silver Machine-era Hawkwind. But as the track builds to a crescendo, krautrock's math-y dynamics come to the fore, with Can-like flourishes on the drums; guitars veering into Don Caballero territory, moving up and down complex scales in tightly woven patterns.
Their instrumental sections pack more punch than the hazy vocals that occasionally drift in (as on High Frontier), but the tight percussion and urgent, overlapping riffs stay with you. The angular Koman Tong appropriates both cod-Eastern melodies and mouth harp, while the sprawling, wordless Smokies Tangle and the spoken word-inflected closer Life Without Skin are clear highlights. [Bram E. Gieben]