Tag Archives: Acid Mothers Temple


Acid Mothers Temple Keep On Going

April 24th, 2014

Acid Mothers Temple – Mercury Lounge – April 23, 2014


We all know looks can be deceiving. But sometimes the look is actually dead-on accurate. And last night’s late show at Mercury Lounge was proof enough of that. Close your eyes and listen to the opening act, Perhaps, and you might imagine a bunch of very talented young guys in T-shirts and jeans jamming out like they can’t believe they’re getting paid to do this. Open your eyes and that’s pretty much exactly what you’d have seen. The image was enhanced a bit by the fact that the bassist was wearing a Phish T-shirt and the guitarist’s T was for Morphine (the band or the drug—I’m not 100 percent sure—I believe the former, but either works in this case). The Boston quintet married thrashing rock and roll with a jazz-fusion mentality and drawn-out, high-energy improvisation to good effect. They’re a band to keep your eye on, so to speak.

Close your eyes once more for the headliner, Acid Mothers Temple, and listen to the music, and in your mind’s eye you might see a quintet of long-haired bearded Japanese wizards casting enchantments, causing minor explosions of psychedelic rock. Of course, that’s exactly what was going down onstage, the veterans of the psych-rock revival from before there was a psych-rock revival returned to the Merc with a nonstop torrent of guitars and bass. Their set was a long-form freak-out, entrancing the full house with a hypnotic cascade of jamming. This was a band that does nothing in moderation: Their first piece began loud and angry and grew louder and angrier, without a pause for contemplation or introspection (appropriately, one dude in the middle of the floor passed out almost immediately after the music reached full-strength). The second song had a groovier feel, the bass filling the room almost completely, guitars oozing into any nooks they could find.

When things quieted down enough to allow one of the band members to play a fluorescent plastic-recorder-type thing, there was some incoherent chanting going on—which is all to say, Acid Mothers Temple did slow down, but mostly just to get weird. By the fourth piece, the set was already 40 minutes long and showed no signs of relenting. This song was an epic masterpiece, beginning quietly with some nice guitar picking and then building into a long, glorious, there-goes-Jupiter, who-brought-the-snacks? voyage. It was easy to get lost in your own brain as the tune built and built in a glorious droning jam, fractions of an hour ticking by in what felt like no time at all. The piece eased through multiple sections, each highlighting the band’s veteran prowess and propensity to just keep on going, with very little complaint from the crowd as the clock reached midnight. Eventually, the song concluded some 20 minutes later, but the set kept going. And for all I know, they’re still jamming out, but at some point I had to close my eyes once again. —A. Stein


Two Bands, One Trippy Bill

May 2nd, 2012

Acid Mothers Temple/Phantom Family Halo – Mercury Lounge – May 1, 2012

Acid Mothers Temple

Often I’ll use the word psychedelic to describe music as one flavor in a sonic stew, the sauce on the chicken wing, so to speak. But some bands are the listening equivalent of taking shots of straight hot sauce until mushroom clouds burst from your ears like cartoon characters. The double bill at Mercury Lounge last night, featuring Acid Mothers Temple and Phantom Family Halo was like straight shots of psychedelic, and with names like those, was there ever any doubt? The late-night vibe in the club was “cult classic,” the rock version of a midnight Rocky Horror showing or a Dungeons and Dragons all-nighter in your mom’s basement.

Phantom Family Halo kicked off things and almost immediately dove into a full sensory mind meld. With mottled, unfocused imagery flickering on a white sheet behind them, it was like looking through the band into another dimension. The visuals matched the music—otherwordly vocals that may have been caused by the whole band having the flu, scintillating guitars and intergalactic keyboards. Much of the material was off their recent When I Fall Out album, with plenty of improv-laden, instrumental stretches to release the songs from terra firma. This was dark, heavy stuff, occasionally bordering on metal bombast. These are the types of guys who occasionally drop down to a knee to turn knobs and dials to unleash the weird through the PA and the crowd ate it up, fully willing to follow the band through a wormhole. PHC is definitely a young band worth watching.

Japan’s Acid Mothers Temple, old-school psych favorites, closed the show in triumphant fashion. With an awesome, freaked-out hippie aesthetic with hair that seems to swallow reality itself, these guys needed no extra light show besides the mellow, static aqua blue lights. Each song started as a hypnotic drone, bits of melody appearing slowly, unfolding like a piece of epic poetry. The themes repeated with increasing velocity, new subtleties layered in until a gargantuan jam completely overwhelmed the room. The first piece exceeded 18 minutes. The second one, “Son of a Bitches Brew,” was about the same, a noise jam with zigzagging motifs developing a groove while the deep shit kept chugging along. It seemed the set could have gone on blissfully forever in this fashion, with the entranced audience ready to call in sick the next day if it came to that. But eventually, the spell was broken and reality set in, until the next shot of cayenne to the soul. —A. Stein