Maserati: Passages
Temporary Residence

A collection of rare and out-of-print vinyl tracks issued on CD for the first time, Maserati's Passages may be a stopgap of sorts, but it's nevertheless a strong package of psychedelic space-rock tracks. Stitched together with four pieces from a split LP with Zombi and Maserati's remix LP, Passages also includes videos for “Inventions (Live) ” and “This Is A Sight We Had One Day On The High Mountain.” In an eight-track collection that covers a fair amount of ground in only forty minutes, the Athens, Goergia quintet (Coley Dennis, Matt Cherry, Steve Scarborough, Gerhardt Fuchs, and Chris O'Neal) at times sounds like the most convincing German krautrock outfit this side of Amon Düül, though a strong U2 or LCD Soundsystem influence is never far away from the surface either.

Following the one-minute tribal chant overture “Join Us, Mystic Sister,” U2's The Edge casts a large shadow on the guitar-fueled stratospherics of “No More Sages” where Maserati weds chugging six-string patterns to a hammering pulse that at times resembles an amped-up “Bullet the Blue Sky.” Though a similar guitar influence surfaces in the spiraling axe motifs coursing through “Monoliths,” the main attraction is Maserati's rhythm section which powers the track with a tight proto-funk groove that kicks serious ass (though Steve Moore's remix treatment of “Monoliths” is Moog-dominated, the guitar patterns bring it more into a U2 orbit than an electronic one). “Thieves” serves up three minutes of intergalactic synthesizer pulsations that would do Tangerine Dream proud, while the previously unreleased “Do You Hear The Nightbirds Calling You?” rides the album out on a cascading wave. Justin Van Der Volgen's overhaul of “Inventions,” impresses as a snappy electro-house treatment the !!! member builds nicely into a trippy trance number. Less impressive by comparison is Thee Loving Hand's “The World Outside” remix, a passable acid-electro club jam that meanders a bit too much to justify its eight-minute running time. That lapse notwithstanding, Passages should more than help tide fans over until the band's next set of original material, tentatively scheduled to appear in 2010.

October 2009