Earthless ‘From The West’ Review

Dynamic, feelgood, flawless and live 9/10Earthless

Psychedelic power trio Earthless have thankfully chosen to share with a greater audience an incredible live performance from earlier this year. From The West was recorded live at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, CA on March 1, 2018 and is their fourth official live release and consolidates their reputation as an unparalleled live experience.

Even the album cover art is a reproduction of a Led Zeppelin bootleg (Mudslide) and within there is even a cover of Communication Breakdown. Expect bombastic 70’s riffs and grooves with inspired improvisation and you will not be disappointed. Earthless, do not wish to be tagged with the jam band moniker (but they could sit easily with the company of The Allman Brothers, Cream or even Man.)

The gig is an amalgamation of two fairly recent tracks (2013/ 2016), a cover and new material from their latest release Black Heaven. Black Heaven saw Earthless hone their technical and improvisational skills into a slightly more streamlined affair, without losing their intrinsic raw psychedelic wizardry and vintage vibes, but with considerably more vocals! It’s heavy, groovy and a real treat to be transported to an Earthless gig. This live performance is a fantastic balance of instrumentals and songs.

They open with the title track with the hypnotic basslines of Mike Eginton, before romping into Electric Flame an absolute gem and notable for the presence of some epic syncopation by Mario Rubalcaba and the dulcet tones of guitarist Isaiah Mitchell.
The vocals are not a novelty as the bombastic Gifted By The Wind proves, Mitchell has great range and style. Uluru Rock, the second track off From The Ages is slightly faster paced, but fear not it’s longer than the original space freakout and does not disappoint in any form. Volt Rush picks up the pace and then it’s the track I wanted to skip to. Restrain yourselves, listen to this live album as it was intended to be please! It’s a brave act that tackles Led Zeppelin live and it’s Earthless playing Communication Breakdown and it is as exciting and powerful as you would expect.

Acid Crusher from their split EP with Harsh Toke appears live for the first and only time, according to drummer Mario Rubalcaba. He is not kidding when he says:  

“This recording blasts into the skull and chokes the ears dry!”

In the most delightful way, obviously.

I feel this may set a new benchmark in live recordings.

Earthless - From The West - Artwork

From The West – CD Track List:

  1. Black Heaven BH i
  2. Electric Flame BH
  3. Gifted By The Wind BH
  4. Uluru Rock From the ages i
  5. Volt Rush BH
  6. Communication Breakdown Zep
  7. Acid Crusher From their split EP with Harsh Toke

 Digital Track List:

  1. Black Heaven
  2. Electric Flame
  3. Gifted By The Wind
  4. Uluru Rock
  5. Volt Rush
  6. Communication Breakdown
  7. Violence Of The Red Sea
  8. Acid Crusher

Earthless – From the West is out on October 19th

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