Lift To Experience
The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads
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.
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