[sic] Magazine

Lunar Grave – The Sunstruck Forest

The Sunstruck Forest is Portland band Lunar Grave’s debut vinyl release having long dwelled before in the realm of cassettes and CDRs. The move hasn’t done their fidelity any favours though, a demo-quality hiss hangs over their literate instrumentals throughout, warping the rickety groove of opener “Piper In The Woods” for example, the track latterly exploding into a heavy-psych workout with requisite wail and liquid wah.

Long-time fans will know Lunar Grave are not all about muscle though and so the next track proves. “JJ-180”, a hallucinogenic drug from Philip K. Dick’s Now Wait For Last Year, is thus a blissful bout of star-strewn, guitar-driven stoner meditation, tremulous mirages thrown up out of its high-end drones, its loose lollop spinning out for seven zoning minutes. The opposite of the usual psych strategy, “Slow Death” starts in turn in immediate and punishing heaviness, the crushing dirge gradually unravelling into serene static. Lurching quickly back into blown-out rhythms however, “Kykeon”, a psychoactive brew from antiquity, buries blissful and hypnotic melodies in its powerful churn, a dangerous undertow rarely far away.

Finally, and in another reference to Philip K. Dick, “2-3-74” is the 11-minute mega closer demanded by the preceding run-time, guitars building from mid-distance over ambient noise, drum volleys crashing through the canopy of The Sunstruck Forest like an Ent on the hunt for ‘shrooms, drones getting more intense and more colourful. Pulsing amidst the growing guitar scree, Lunar Grave lock on from here on in for a slo-mo collision of truly cosmic proportions. They may sound like they’ve recorded in a dingy basement, but their gaze is firmly on the horizon.

Best track: “2-3-74”

~The Sunstruck Forest is released 26th January 2018 on 300-pressing vinyl via the collaborative efforts of Cardinal Fuzz and Sky Lantern Records.~