"They don't want you to die. They just want you to suffer for the rest of your life!"
Alex Mass (Luca) Levitation Sessions
I had never heard of the music of Alex Maas, the Texan, and Black Angel's singer. It was a random suggestion made by Bandcamp that pushed me to listen to this Levitation live recording. Levitation has been inventive in this bonkers world and has managed to find an excellent and unique way to present live performance in the absence of any social gathering (I can't believe I'm writing that). They have been broadcasting and recording some excellent Psych bands and releasing the performances via their Bandcamp over the last year.
As a live gig, this Alex Mass performance is top drawer stuff. Beautifully performed and a fantastic recording. It's something of a campfire performance with soft echoing vocals and an intimacy that rings through in each song.
On first listen, it was the first line of the song "Elastic" that was the clincher for me "They don't want you to die. They just want you to suffer for the rest of your life!" I know it sounds dark, but in the context of the song, performance, and delivery, it made me laugh out loud. It's one of many great one-liners within this collection of songs and is characteristic of what seems to be an on-point lyrical style.
There are essences of I am Kloot's, John Bramwell to the vocal style and delivery. The songs crackle with a wry cynicism and some beautiful vintage warmth. Imagine Lee Hazlewood jamming with The Fat White Family. I can hear elements of Jeff Barrow's exploits with Beth Gibbons, and I even get tinges of the baggy Manchester sound. On reflection, it all sounds quite English. There isn't the drawl to the vocal delivery that one would expect from a Texan. Saying that, when we get to "Keep your Balance," an excellent song for a skate film both vocally and sonically, by the way, we start to get into Silver Apples territory. It's a single driving riff, pumping and pulsing, backed by rolling drums and never-ending jangly strings. It sounds like an Oud or some Middle Eastern noise machine. Hypnotic and uncomfortably engaging.
I could go on, but I think you should take a gander for yourself. It's music from the soul and worth a listen.
Listen to Levitation Sessions on Bandcamp:
Watch Keep Your Balance on YouTube