Sonic rumination as devotional tribute?
Throbbing repetition as celestial transport?
Conversational poetry as euphoric confessional?
Gospel music for the willing junky?
Pleasure-damaged wasteland or morphine-dripped utopia?
Is this Heaven or Hell?
It’s “Heaven on Earth;” Heaven on Earth all over again, repackaged, re-colored, and reissued.
The music of Spacemen 3 is all these things simultaneously and more. The duo of Jason Pierce (Spiritualized) and Pete Kember (Sonic Boom) made music custom-fit for drug use, actively “taking drugs to make music to take drugs to.” By spiritualizing brute sensation, the group realized a new plane of religiosity. A religion that could worship the senses. Its goal? To achieve a sort of nirvana, not by searching skyward or by means of moral works, but via numbing escape through the use of narcotics and the enjoyment of a type of music acutely designed to enhance this temporary, artificially manifested Eden.
It appears Fire Records is determined to remind us just how satisfying drug-scorched soul music can be. The label is reissuing 180g colored vinyl copies of the band’s first three records: Sound of Confusion, The Perfect Prescription, and the 1988 live album Performance. The celebrated centerpiece, The Perfect Prescription, is as raw as man’s first desperate attempt to shout at the heavens for answers, yet as measured as any formalized religious narrative. The album, with its 10 tracks, plays out like a storyboard for the arced journey of one’s passage through the experiences of chemical states. It’s nonfiction and fiction, both vulgar and divine. The dichotomy makes for great art, the fusion makes for a near-perfect rock album.
I pray that you already own this record, but if not, once these reissues hit the shelves (reportedly this week), you had better atone for your sins and pick up a copy. Salvation awaits.