Jess & The Ancient Ones: Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes

From Finland to the farthest reaches of the cosmos.

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It’s been a long wait for a second album from Finnish mind-trippers Jess And The Ancient Ones – they released their debut back in 2011 and while they’ve been busy in the interim, releasing a cluster of EPs, at last the stars have aligned for the arrival of Second Psychedelic Coming.

It’s a surprisingly raw listen, not in an abrasive punk rock sense, but more that the music possesses a strong aura of immediacy, and the band aren’t afraid to let the rough edges show in both their playing and the production. It sounds very much like a live record – you can hear the bleed between microphones, and that lends the album a feel of organic wholeness and considerable sonic impact. Musically, Jess and her band brew up a bubbling cauldron of psychedelia and occult rock. The wonderful organ solo in The Equinox Death Trip suggests Arthur Brown, the wah-wah guitar in The Flying Man hints at Hendrix, while Jess commands it all with power and drama. The cream of this crop is the climactic final track, all 22 epic minutes of Goodbye To Virgin Grounds Forever, which pulls folk, flutes, Kate Bush-style flourishes and Pink Floyd space rock into its swirling orbit. Fabulously far out.

David West

After starting his writing career covering the unforgiving world of MMA, David moved into music journalism at Rhythm magazine, interviewing legends of the drum kit including Ginger Baker and Neil Peart. A regular contributor to Prog, he’s written for Metal Hammer, The Blues, Country Music Magazine and more. The author of Chasing Dragons: An Introduction To The Martial Arts Film, David shares his thoughts on kung fu movies in essays and videos for 88 Films, Arrow Films, and Eureka Entertainment. He firmly believes Steely Dan’s Reelin’ In The Years is the tuniest tune ever tuned.