I would’ve skipped on BIG SCENIC NOWHERE’s Vision Beyond Horizon of earlier this year by virtue of not only the terms “stoner rock” and (even worse) “desert rock” being bandied about, but the trifecta of disinterest was reached with the knowledge that a member of FU MANCHU figured heavily into the band’s makeup. That band and their sonic cohorts in the Dune Buggy/Shaggin’ Wagon set of fun-in-the-sun weed worshippers are just not my type of stoner anything, rock or otherwise. They’re simply doing it wrong.

The announcement of the release of Lavender Blues, however, caught my eye in a big way. Here we not only have Per Wiberg [KAMCHATKA, ex-OPETH] and VOIVOD-ian Daniel Mongrain, but Chris Goss of the mightily underrated MASTERS OF REALITY, so it can’t be all bad, right? I mean, have you even ever heard Sunrise On The Sufferbus? Ginger Baker is on that shit, and he was badass. Lavender Blues may be an EP, but still clocks in at around a half-hour, and leads off with the title track, serpentine strings slithering into your consciousness, the benefit of having 4-5 guitars quickly realized Tony Reed’s [YAWNING MAN] baritone floats atop a languid yet hypnotic rhythm section as the guitars move in what seem as if they should be varying directions, all the while keeping track of where they are in relation to the rest of the tune and players, something the majority of “jam bands” could take a lesson from.

As of first listen to the otherworldly conjurations, I’m not in an altered state chemically. Turns out, for the time being, I don’t need to be, as the aural transport is working just fine. Elements of GENESIS’ longer instrumental sections from Trespass flit ‘round the edges, again never going off the deep end of self-indulgence. Moments call to mind FARFLUNG, and its around 9-10 minutes into ‘Lavender Blues’ that I realize I’m on board this ship, willing to see where it takes me.

A bit of BLUE OYSTER CULT as interpreted by the aforementioned MASTERS OF REALITY flashes past in ‘In The Blink Of An Eye’, definitely more standard in structure than what’s come before, but no less a satisfying ride. ‘Labyrinths Fade’ provides an ideal soundtrack to our return trip, incendiary leads burning off the space dust as we make our reentry, and I’ll just say it now. What we have, with Lavender Blues, is a study in how to play to the strengths of those with whom you collaborate.

Whatever you may feel about a certain sub-genre or culture, there’s something to enjoy in BIG SCENIC NOWHERE. They’re simply doing it right.
Review By: Lord Randall

Lavender Blues  [EP]
Heavy Psych Sounds
4.5 / 6