Exposé Online banner

Espers — Espers
(Locust L 44, 2004, CD)

Espers — The Weed Tree
(Locust L 73, 2005, CD)

Espers — II
(Drag City DC310, 2006, CD)

by Cesar Montesano, Published 2007-03-01

Espers Cover artThe Weed Tree Cover artII Cover art

Beautiful music delving into mantric excesses in protracted light is a nice way to spend an afternoon. Percolating effluvial melodies encroach upon sensibilities of newfound mellifluousness setting its sights upon somber dialectics hailing from the nether regions of yore: spooky, yet lovely, acid-folk. Delicate female larynx peals away, in shards of soul, as it clambers to speak of life's deeper vagaries. Haunting and effusive, the elusive effect is that of casting a semi-acoustic shadow o'er the patina of any retinal ability to see beyond simultaneously energizing and enervating enigma. Truth be told, the affectation of the debut is a mite precious; nonetheless, that does little to shear Espers of their power. Something of that ilk is to be expected when excavating to resurrect a partial ghost of Pearls Before Swine, steeped in the tea leaves of Linda Perhacs. For their auxiliary effort, between full albums proper, we have a set of melancholy covers wreathed in blooming funereal flowers. A sense of longing and foreboding pervades the entirety of their fragile second disc until the searing, and majestically swirling, ten-minute rendition of “Flaming Telepaths” – it tears one to agog threads towards effulgent madness and hidden euphoria – say hello to your repeat button.

Heralding from swishing folds along the altar of the born-again freak-folk church, this shimmering outfit is a prelate of tines overcome, they strike a necessary balance between the ecclesiastically lugubrious and the ecstatically sacrosanct. Vicariate expatriate export of a time lost, this band plays archaeology on the darker part of the akashic record, relishing wistful liberties under the dictatorship of mass public appeal. Their notational preambles are paeans for recovery and worthy of further discovery, to be sought out as the currently gigging unit they are. If there is one aspect that may sway the unwary listener is that they mostly perform sad music. Even when it is not overtly expressed in the lyric, the underlying thread of battling against an amorphous despair reigns entangled, and sticky, in your hair. Seemingly, one cannot sing happy songs in this modality without sounding a tad on the twee side; even the illustrious folk troubadour Donovan himself could not escape being judged a foolhardy lightheart for simply not being depressed enough. It would therefore not be far from prudent to gander a guess that nothing makes one more human than taking a wavering faith and channeling it into an art form, something that Greg Weeks, Meg Baird, Brooke Sietinsons, and erstwhile clan, do abundantly well. Expression is a formidable tool and they weld a dark blade magnificently along the skin of a nuanced curtain bedecked with and sheathed in atmospheric glories.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2004 releases, 2005 releases, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Espers, Greg Weeks

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Anthony R. Flynn - Angel's Breath – What first struck me as sort of a Spanish flavored acoustic guitar based fusion album in the mold of some of Al DiMeola's adventures or Strunz & Farah began to change midway through the album....  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues