Having caught Thunderbird Divine at last year’s second annual Descendants of Crom festival, I was immediately taken by their Kyuss/Clutch/Monster Magnet/Led Zeppelin/Fu Manchu worship and engaging band leader Erik Caplan’s innovative use of the theremin, a lesser-known instrument that is finding its way back into vogue in heavy music circles (see also Pittsburgh’s Pyrithe).
I had thought of interviewing Mr. Caplan about the album.
But I honestly couldn’t think of anything substantial to ask him beyond the typical questions about how his Philly act evolved from s previous band, Wizard Eye, their influences, etc.
Then, after racking my brain, I realized something.
Thunderbird Divine’s music speaks for itself, and Magnasonic, their debut album, is a short record composed of long songs, if that makes sense, is a grand statement of universal love for psychedelic and stoner rock from the late 60’s to the present day.
But before one thinks this is a free/wheelin’ hippie jam session upon the initial sunrise strains of opening track “Qualified,” the boys bring the quake, and the brainshake, but it’s all with good tidings lashed onto the hood all the way to the epic nightfall of finisher “The Devil’s Hatband,” its psychotic closing strains howling into the unknown, darkened highways of the soul.
Whether you’re a elder who pines for Mountain or a young feller with a jones for Queens of the Stone Age, all four tracks on Magnasonic have something appetizing and mind-expanding for you.