Today is a better day, one that might have solidified a decent future for Merchants Of Air. I'll tell you about that later. After all, I'm not here to talk about myself. This would be quite a boring website if I only talked about myself, wouldn't it? Many people do it. Just check around, the ones that are always talking about themselves usually are the most boring ones. But, I'm digressing again.
Now I know I wasn't very fond of the album when I heard it at first. Some bands in this genre have a bit too much of a gothic metal capacity, something I'm pretty much done with (although there are quite decent new bands coming up). That feeling actually came from a Jex Thoth concert at Desertfest and an Avatarium one in Tilburg. Since then, I've been quite skeptical about these bands, undeserved, so it seems.
Of course you know Jess and the Ancient Ones, the Finnish psychedelic rock band that started in 2010 and released a critically acclaimed full-length in 2011, which was follow by a highly popular ep and loads of concerts, so I don't have to introduce the band, right? Their second album is now available and it's surely is one of the best in the female fronted psychedelic underground.
The album opens with a firm rocker in 'Samhein' and pretty much continues on that path, highlighting in a tremendous song like 'The Equinox Death Trip'. In a way I could describe this as Janis Joplin or Jefferson Airplane, using effect pedals with the word 'ROCK' in huge letters written on them. Driving on tons of fuzz and loads of energy, this album actually flows by almost instantly.
Here and there you can hear some weird melodies, like in 'Wolves Inside My Head' for example, but in a way they add a lot to the vintage feel of the entire album. I'm also reminded of the records I used to play when I was a little kid. I can't remember all the bands but I can tell you that it was late seventies or early eighties. My parents owned a few hit-collection albums, loaded with psychedelic seventies rock, which I adored but somehow forgot when I became a metalhead.
That is exactly what this album feels like: discovering a brand new world of sound in a room which smells like dust and vinyl. When the brilliant ballad 'Crossroad Lightning' starts (and even when the tempo finally goes up), I'm back in that room, watching those old speakers in disbelief. I wish I still had those speakers, they were ugly but way better than the crap that those companies make these days.
A good album takes you back in time, back to where the listener first discovered that particular genre. Jess and the Ancient Ones managed to get me back to probably my very first childhood memory. I hope they can forgive my skepticism and my weariness the first time I heard this. Now, I'm sure that this is simply a brilliant album and perhaps the one of best female fronted rock albums ever. Yes, ever, it's just that good.