Lift To Experience

Lift To Experience

The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads

Bella Union

Don’t even wanna touch the implications that an album called The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads brings to mind at this particular point in time. That’s enough ideological baggage to even fill Lift To Experience’s big intimidating cowboy hats. Shit. Was it on purpose or just an interesting coincidence of zeitgeist? Does the lord work in mysterious ways? Didn’t I say I wasn’t gonna touch it?

After sandblasting away the hype and the coincidentals, what remains are certain irrefutable truths regarding Lift To Experience. They have great hair and beards and sideburns and they bear more than a passing visual resemblance to Today is the Day. The music is an exhilarating take on guitar textures and canvasses of feedback, like a rougher, more Southern interpretation of the bedazzled experimentation of Ride and My Bloody Valentine; imagine if shoegazing hadn’t taken root in Oxford, but instead in the American south, weaned on tent revival meetings and long expanses of prairie and wilderness. Josh T. Pearson adds another element to an already contradictory mix by singing like a mix between Tim Buckley and Steven Malkmus. Pearson’s voice soars like a fragile angel, rushing headlong to destruction, but he’s just as liable to break off an epic vocal harmony with fits of oblique mumbling and whispers. So you start cranking the volume to figure out where the sound went, and suddenly it whooshes back with blood rushing straight to the head. It=EDs frustrating but maddeningly addictive listening — you’re afraid to miss even the slightest apocalyptic thread.

The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads is a concept album, or more accurately a travelogue of how the members of Lift To Experience were visiting by an angel of god, and told to prepare for a journey, cataclysm, visions and an epic struggle of biblical good and evil after which the children of Israel (not exactly like you’d think) will be led to the promised land. All will hinge on Texas being held as the last stronghold. Or something.

The music is more important to me than the visions (which admittedly, might even put William Blake to shame), and more thrilling than any ideology. It doesn’t follow traditional verse/chorus/verse constructs, it flows and coils freely and wildly, calling to mind narcoleptic free jazz, Sonic Youth, old Verve (same wide-eyed self belief and epic naive pretensions), Godspeed You Black Emperor!, and of course the ever-looming ghosts of late 1980s England — Ride, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus And Mary Chain. It’s a heady moment for this free-falling guitar-based miasma — so much ringing crystalline beauty. Odd that a Texas based outfit of preacher boys would signal the comeback of shimmer pop. Maybe this is the true promised land.

Lift To Experience are so boldly out of step with everyone, everything going on right now that you can’t help but fall in love. Again.

Bella Union:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Shithouse

    A darling love story with engaging characters and one of the worst titles ever.

  • Too Much and Never Enough
    Too Much and Never Enough

    One families indifference and abandonment gave America its greatest failure. Mary Trump explains how.

  • Summerland

    In rural England, a cranky woman bonds with and evacuee boy and uncovers a strange connection to her past.

  • Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations
    Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations

    These geniuses of early comedy finally get the presentation they are due in this Blu-ray edition.

  • Four-Letter Words
    Four-Letter Words

    No need to worry about offending delicate sensibilities with this playlist. We’re not talking about profanity, so just take the title at face value.

  • A Genesis In My Bed
    A Genesis In My Bed

    Former Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett shares his life story in his story in an engaging and honest memoir. Reading his story feels like hanging out with a friend who’s interested in sharing how he felt living these experiences.

  • The Jayhawks
    The Jayhawks

    XOXO (Sham/Thirty Tigers). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • 18 to Party
    18 to Party

    When you’re in 8th grade, sneaking into a bar is way cooler than it is when you’re 40.

  • Adam

    A pregnant woman finds a home in Casablanca.

  • 2020 on Fire
    2020 on Fire

    Sound Salvation takes on current events with a playlist addressing the current fight for racial and social justice in America and the battles playing out in the streets in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

From the Archives