by Robert Bell
MAINLAND DIVIDE, GUARDIAN ALIEN, ZS, FISTER
7 p.m. Downtown Music Hall. $3.
I have spent a goodly amount of time listening to Guardian Alien's singularly mind-exploding psychedelic rock album "See the World Given to a One Love Entity," released in 2012. The 38-minute, single-track album doesn't just explode your mind (though it does, for sure). It puts it back together.
After all the bits of your mind have been jettisoned to unfathomable reaches of the cosmos by the violent initial blast of this beautiful yet intensely jarring music, those trillions upon trillions of bits of consciousness are pulled back toward the center — toward your empty head — almost as fast, until all the pieces are put back in place and a shimmering sense of eternal calm and wellbeing washes over you as the album fades out and the multiversal oneness smiles in pure, loving benevolence.
And that's what it's like to listen to Guardian Alien's excellent record "See the World Given to a One Love Entity." I must point out that the band's founder Greg Fox (formerly of the band Liturgy) is not so much a "drummer" in the traditional sense as he is an eruption of kaleidoscopic rhythmic energy that goes from blast-beat blur to waves of rolling/crashing/thundering musicality, utterly transcending the antiquated yet well-meaning notions of timekeeping and "what a drummer is supposed to do," if that makes sense. And my goodness, the other band members are no slouches either, as is evident from recorded material. So it'll be rad to see the band play live.
On tour with them is their friend-band Zs. Even though they've been around more than a decade, I only just now a few minutes ago listened to Zs (sorry!) but it makes me think of The Contortions at one of those Halloween coverup shows and they're playing the music of Conlon Nancarrow somehow? I'm thinking specifically of the Zs song "In My Dream I Shot a Monk." I don't know, there are saxophones and yelling and turn-on-a-dime acrobatics and skronk all over the damn place.
Little Rock's Mainland Divide will headline the show, bringing the instrumental, ambient-informed post-rock for your listening enjoyment. St. Louis's Fister will bring the bleak, heavy-riff crushing-ness. In all, an intriguing bill and hey — it's $3!