Lesbian – Hallucinogenesis (Translation Loss)

Thursday, 8th September 2016
Rating: 6.5/10

More often than not, a strong effort is made within the sludge/stoner realm to not over-complicate things. It’s supposed to be music to chill out to, for lack of a better term, or, get blazed, again, for lack of a better term. There are few bands of this ilk willing to throw in the kitchen sink, but Seattle’s Lesbian are one of them. The band’s 2013 Forestelevision consisted of one 44-minute song, and was an otherwise hearty, hefty listen. On Hallucinogenesis, however, things appear to have gotten away from Lesbian.

Aptly categorized under the “progressive doom” banner, Lesbian are perhaps too willing to throttle their songs with a potpourri of battered riffs, space (outer, that is) excursions, and Mastodon-like helpings. And that’s probably where things get a little cross, particularly on “Pyramidal Existinctualism” and “La Brea Borealis,” two numbers that offer a seismic amount of complexity, which again, makes the band an odd duck in the subgenre they inhabit. New vocalist Brad Mowen even sounds a tad lost at sea trying to clutch at some semblance of structure, although the melodies found on “Aqualibrium” take the edge off things just a little bit.

Really, sort of a mind-fuck of an album, which is exactly how Lesbian intended it to be. And while that’s fine and dandy, the proliferation of ideas and sheer volume of Hallucinogenesis makes a difficult album to penetrate. One can only picture Standard Stoner Joe Schmo hunkering down with this thing and scratching his head, quickly reaching for his copy of Sky Valley instead…

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