[sic] Magazine

Spacin’ – Total Freedom

Picture the scene. It’s 1976 and you’re squatting in college halls. Your hair’s long; your eyes are bloodshot. The corridors smell of patchouli and weed. From behind every door emanates muffled riffs. The stoner kids are jamming vintage Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers, the cool ones Bowie. The Stones are ever-present, Glam is making waves and some square just has the local FM playing. Welcome to Total Freedom.

Spacin’s Deep Thuds hit the shelves in 2012 and it was a winning soup of power chords, 60s garage and gnarly solos. Now back for more, Jason Killinger again takes his parent band Birds of Maya’s super-crude shred, tempering it with sibling outfit Purling Hiss’s hooks and melodies. Keeping it Philly, Purling Hiss frontman, Mike Polizze guests briefly and so too does Jesse Trbovich of Kurt Vile’s band The Violators. The result is not unlike city-mates Sheer Mag’s lo-fi classic rock, but while they idolise Thin Lizzy, Spacin’s ace in the hole is The Velvet Underground. As such, 10-minute jamathon “U.S. Ruse” is a wild ride from the minds of Lou Reed and Mick Jagger (from whom Spacin’ are now the proud owners of a cease and desist order with regards to their artwork), its chorus of sorts letting Dylan get involved too. It wails and has no idea when to stop and is all the better for it, slowly coming apart at the seams and devolving into chilly, psychedelic bliss. The love for Mick and Keith continues on “Stopping Them”, a gently pulsing jangle in the Their Satanic Majesties style.

The thoroughly satisfying title track, on the other hand, combines party chords and summery licks with dirty bar-room grooves. Accordingly then it comes on like Spacin’s version of “White Light/White Heat”. In turn, demo-quality rocker “Titchy” sounds like The Kinks as tackled by a chorus of chimps, while the sleepy “Batfolk” reduces its swagger to a dead-head neck-pop. Spacin’s crusted rifftaculars outnumber their blown-out instrumentals and passages of experimental ambience throughout, which is for the best as when they lock in they’re unstoppable. Dusty opener “Over Uneasy” ensures this happens from the very start. The vocal may be impenetrable, the fidelity may nosedive after the opening few bars, but when the star-spangled riffs become solos and then just keep on chugging you’re rendered immobile under their stream. Total Freedom is a flashback that’ll last a lifetime.

Best track: “Total Freedom”

~Total Freedom is released March 18th 2016 via Agitated.~