Earthless are like this massive scream of psychedelic squall that came from 40 years ago and is just now making its way to our ears. The music they make is no fuss, stoned, rock n’ roll that fans of Sleep and Cream alike can get lost in. Since 2005 guitarist Isaiah Mitchell, bassist Mike Eginton, and drummer Mario Rubalcaba have been putting massive improvisational jams to tape and have been putting the universe’s stamp of approval on each vinyl pressed. Make no qualms about it, if things like ten minute guitar solos, thunderous bass, and Bonzo-esque drums make you cringe and reach for that Dirty Projectors mix tape, then please exit stage left. If phrases like “zone-out”, “stare off into space”, and “get lost in song” are vernacular that are used by you more often than you’d like to admit, please, sit down and take a load off. Prepare to have your cerebral cortex massaged with epic riffage.
San Diego has bestowed upon the world a true gift in rockers Earthless. And From The Ages, Earthless’ first album in six years proves that massive and muscular jams are the gift that keep on giving. “Violence of the Red Sea” opens up and lets you know right off the bat where we’re headed. A 15 minute improvisational display of guitar battery, bass beating, and drum bashing that brings to mind a cross between the best Robin Trower had to offer with his time playing with Jack Bruce and Jimi Hendrix and Band of Gypsies. Unlike some of Earthless’ contemporaries such as White Hills and Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound, this San Diego band keeps things a little lighter. Despite the connotations of floating in outer space with a name like Earthless, this band is very much earth-bound thanks to the aggressive yet soulful guitar playing of Isiah Mitchell. Somewhere on a purple cloud of fairy dust, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton’s self respect are smiling down on every pull, sweep, and run Mitchell pulls out of his magic riff bag. Unlike so many dead-eyed wannabe guitar heroes that love to play the mimic game, Mitchell is the real deal. And not only is Earthless as a whole pulling influence from Hendrix, Clapton, and Black Sabbath, but it’s apparent that this power trio in the classic sense have the spirit of Coltrane and Davis attending these improvisational epic sprawls put to tape. It’s not aimless noodling on tracks like “Uluru Rock” and the wonderfully sublime “Equus October”, there’s a real flow. You’re moving from movement to movement; it’s just that these guys make it seem so natural that you never know you’re being guided by Earthless’ ethereal hand. But just when you think your mind is completely mush, in comes the album closer, the 30 minute magnum opus “From The Ages”. It’s a sprawling epic ride through light and dark, squall and groove, and epic, epic riffs. The drums keep the tempo firmly in the red lining area, while guitars blow up into blasts of cacophony before the wah is engaged and faces begin to melt. I’d read that Earthless isn’t a “stoner rock” band, but a “coffee rock” band. “From The Ages” is the aural proof, as the guys must’ve been hitting the espresso during this recording session. Mind. Blown.
Whether you’re a fan of those classic power trios like the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream, or you go for some of the modern psych/stoner/space rock, it doesn’t matter cause Earthless have you covered, from the earth to the moon. And beyond.
9.5 out of 10