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All Things Are Light

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
The Linus Pauling Quartet continue to follow their wry and righteous muse on All Things Are Light, a short, powerful album dedicated to the principle that lysergic insanity is not merely a sonic means to an end but a fine end in and of itself. In this context, starting off with a song called "Alien Abduction" makes perfect sense, as does making sure it has a series of core monster riffs, perfectly paced getting-ripped-while-driving-down-the-highway rhythms, and echoing vocals about the titular event. About all a listener needs is the mescaline. From there the Texas group explores a variety of psychedelic diversions, ranging from "Southern Pine," initially gentle enough to appear on a random shoegaze mix CD-R then increasingly more fraught and sprawling, to the horn-driven "Enchirito," almost a tribute to Psychic...Powerless-era Butthole Surfers (but the back and forth between a drive-up fast-food patron and the working stiff on duty is all their own). However, a core point about the Linus Pauling Quartet isn't merely that they're a great psych band, but a great band period, able to embrace a lot of styles and moods and work them well. There's plenty of heavily energetic muscle on display throughout the album -- "She Bad, She Thowed" is the kind of country-blues-funk that one could almost expect from the Lone Star State, tight and snarling from the word go. In contrast, "40 Oz.," a backhanded celebration of being wasted and stretched out on the ground with said bottle of cheap beer, makes for a great lost slacker anthem delivered with understated ease. ~ Ned Raggett, Rovi