BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Given the six-string driven extremes to which both styles will go, the blend of stoner rock and shoegaze seems like a natural – both evolved out of psychedelic rock, after all. It’s not a path many artists have walked, but Luder fearlessly treads it, reaching a peak of ax-saturated acid phantasia on its second album Adelphophagia. Wave after wave of riffs, chords, fills and solos flow from the fingertips of guitarists Phil Dürr (ex-Big Chief, currently Five Horse Johnson and Giant Brain) and Scott Hamilton (owner and operator of Small Stone), a tsunami of excess from which melodies both dreamy and earthy emerge simultaneously. Drummer Eric Miller, meanwhile, satisfies a Keith Moon jones on his kit without ever losing the pocket. Singer/bassist Sue Lott (late of Detroit’s Slot, out of the ashes of which Luder evolved) skips across the top of the amplifier storm like a wind-walker from some ancient legend, contrasting her ethereal coo with her partners’ psylocibinized crunch for a combo like chocolate and peanut butter – cf. “You Try It” and “I Don’t Like You” for perfect examples.
Unsurprisingly, the band is at its best when it stretches out – the alternately wispy and massive “Dirge,” the majestic “Remember What I Said” and the gracefully apocalyptic “Heartfelt” make the most of their epic running times, rising and falling on emotional dynamics rare in music this heavy. Add a quirky, crunchy take on David Bowie’s “I’m Afraid of Americans” and you have the icing on top of a beautifully baked cake. Stylistic details aside, Adelphophagia (which, by the way, is the situation in which one embryo consumes another while in utero) is a testament to mind expansion through amplification, a great psychedelic rock record for the 21st century.
DOWNLOAD: “Heartfelt,” “Dirge,” “You Try It”