The last release from Oli Heffernan, aka Ivan The Tolerable, & his Elastic Band was 2020’s excellent Out Of Season. That album was this mixture of free form noise, blistering riffs, Sun Ra space explorations, and beatnik spirit in the form of spoken word courtesy of one of the coolest dudes on the planet, Mike Watt.
Between that release, which was August 2021, and now there have been various Ivan The Tolerable sightings, most prominently being White Tears with Library of the Occult and a limited edition lathe cut release with LOTO as well. But after a year Heffernan got the band back together and on November 26th will be dropping Ivan The Tolerable & His Elastic Band’s new long player The Long Year.
The Long Year continues with the same free-floating, acid-trip vibe of Out Of Season, but there seems to be more emphasis on guitar/keys/drum explosions. It’s this great coming together of psych and fusion, both of the free form variety. Karen Schoemer’s spoken word centers the chaos a bit, while adding its own layer of mystery.
Single “Night Hospital” is all business with one hell of a drum groove right at the outset. It puts me in mind of Danish psych band Causa Sui(dig into Summer Sessions of you’re not familiar.) But Schoemer’s spoken word and the hazy saxophone puts me in mind of Sonic Youth, Patti Smith, and the art rock scene of late 70s NYC. And with the last line, “The overdose works through her system” lingering in the air, there’s a sense of heaviness that stays long after the song ends.
Listen to Ivan The Tolerable & His Elastic Band’s “Night Hospital” via the Heffernan-created music video below. ‘The Long Year’ drops 11/26 via Stolen Body Records. Preorder the album here.