Ecstatic Vision: Sonic Praise

Philly psych voyagers find themselves stuck in orbit

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Rolling into the crowded psych landscape, Philadelphia’s Ecstatic Vision have tapped into a captivating realm of arresting tempos, cartwheeling guitar solos and shout-out dancefloor exhortations.

The reference points are fairly distinct, the most obvious being their amplified extension of Hawkwind’s gauzey improvisational layering, alongside the twitchy repetition of latter-day EDM. The album’s unqualified centrepiece is …To The Astral Plane – a transfixing 12-minute headtrip through a frenetic matrix of pulsating drum-and-bass grooving that bursts into a pummelling, rave-friendly gallop at the two-minute mark.

Don’t Kill The Vibe showcases a punchy cadence awash in waves of echoey, reverb-drenched guitars. The grooves are physically irresistible, although by the end of the second song, you’ve essentially heard 90% of the record. Lyrically the prognosis is grim, boasting couplets like, ‘When your [sic] free you will find/Life can be a good time.’ But if you’re looking for a bouncy respite from reality, then Sonic Praise will do quite nicely. Also great for late-night, neighbour-bothering afterparties.

Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.