Matushka - II

4 songs
39:55 minutes
***** **
Anizitisi / Musea / Siyanie


Although this trio from Saint Petersburg doesn’t seem to have been around for many years, they have already several releases available on their Bandcamp page. Next to compilation appearances and EPs, II is the second longplayer of this instrumental psychedelic rock band from Russia. To understand what is going on is not really complicated: the guys are a traditional power trio playing guitar, bass and drums. Add to this a whole lot of crazy effects, and you get a very spaced out acid rock atmosphere to make sure that the forty minutes of music never sound tame or staid.

The opener The Acid Curl’s Dance is a seven minute long journey into the three-pieces universe of swirling psychedelic movements. The production may sound a little on the less polished side, but anything more hi-fi would have stolen the music its upbeat spontaneity. The following As Bartenders And Bouncers Dance is even a minute longer, and if at first it seems as not much has changed, you will soon notice a bouncier rhythm that feels a little like late Eighties Sonic Youth pogo jamming to some obscure underground acid rock. This is really a fun piece of music. Meditation is with five minutes the shortest track on the album and true to its title goes into a more meditative direction. The trippy haze of all kinds of psychoactive substances takes the listener back to a time when psychedelia was a life style and not just a musical genre. I guess not only me will feel reminded of the early Amon Düül II improvisations from their first three albums.

The second half of the album is taken up by the twenty minute rollercoaster ride titled Drezina. The first one and a half minute is still very well behaved, played on acoustic guitars and some kind of glockenspiel, but that’s just the calm before the storm. The musicians know that this is a long track, so they take their time building up momentum. This might seem overly self-indulgent for some listeners, but wasn’t the idea of psychedelic rock that there are no boundaries of three of four minute songs? There’s lots of different parts on this epic mammoth track, but it’s the second half of the track where a recurring guitar melody is counterpointed by a crazy amount of spacey effects that had the most impact on me. Once again there is this no wave indie feeling coupled with hazy space rock that shows that these guys, once they are within the song, are truly deep within and won’t come out anytime soon.

I have to admit that I had to listen to II several times to discern all of its different subtleties, and I am convinced there is still much more to discover, had I only the luxury of time. The way it is, II is a truly charming psychedelic acid rock album, maybe low on polished production values, but high on authenticity. Those of you looking for something truly far out need not look any further. Matushka are just the right key to unlock a crazy Technicolor universe of psychedelic insanity.

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