Plants Photosynthesis

[Strange Attractors; 2007]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: chamber psych
Others: Davenport, Popol Vuh

This is some straight-up, zoned-out opium den tunes. Just some dim-the-lights, check-out-the-glow-in-the-dark-stars-I-put-on-the-ceiling, think-about-the-concept-of-infinity-real-hard tunes. Comprised of Joshua Blanchard, Molly Griffith-Blanchard, and Jesse Stevens along with a small but lovable/adorable cast of friends who bring their bells and saws and banjos and “electric tones,” Plants mine acoustic/electric drone territory full of shakers, audio contrails, and low backwards vamps. Photosynthesis is a mostly instrumental affair; vocals that form words spring up only on the first and third “Seedling” tracks. These songs are the most traditional, and the guitars feature an interesting psych/Western amalgam of a style -- hand percussion and electric tones sounding like stretched-out horns bring Spaghetti Westerns to mind (though here a bit more addled). With a couple exceptions, the tracks lie in the four-minute range; concise enough to keep one’s attention when listening intently and seamless enough to forget when zoned out. The entire affair is perfectly brief, seeing as I have never in my life been high for any time period longer or shorter than 35 minutes and 14 seconds. Just the right amount of haze and ambiguity is imbued in the tracks, and it’s an album through and through; Photosynthesis is essentially one piece. Plants achieve what they set out to, and the band name can only be a reference to the band’s inspiration.

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