April 4, 2002

Test Spin: Lift to Experience

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This trio of Texas rockers seems to have some pretty strange religious theories on this album — something about how God has designated Texas the Holy Land. Well, I don’t know about that, but this I do know: this album is one heavenly experience.

Guitars shiver, glide, and pulsate all throughout this sprawling double-disc set. The band alternates between blistering power trio jams and a subdued, hypnotizing wash built around controlled feedback. Josh Pearson’s spiritual lyrics could easily have seemed absurd or pretentious, but his genuine religious fervor and heart-wrenching croon carry the vocals into the clouds. On the a-cappella break in the feedback anthem “The Ground So Soft,” Pearson emotes, “the dead shall rise from their resting place/ and sing the chorus to ‘Amazing Grace’.”

Frankly, it’s impossible to really sum up this album in such a small space. This is a truly enveloping record with incredible depth — both technically and emotionally.

Archived article by Ed Howard