AMBDS is a musical adventure, a trip into the heavens and the inner mind.
It’s of no shock that a Million Billion Dying Suns come from San Francisco, home to the Summer of Love and Haight-Ashbury. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the group is psychedelic necessarily, there’s a certain fuzzy interstellar overdrive groove to this material – think of the Flaming Lips if they were floating in space – that some may consider to be such. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the experience of listening to the group’s new AMBDS album is heightened by ingesting a handful of magic mushrooms before putting this one on the turntable. And that’s notwithstanding the fact that there’s a song here called “So High”. There’s a real sense of the panoramic, but also of mind expansiveness, with a pretty liberal dose of glam rock. I listen to a song on the disc called “Promised Land” and the guitar shredding is vaguely reminiscent of Todd Rundgren’s rock oriented material. AMBDS looks backwards as much as it peers into the night sky overhead with its primary destination of the stars.
Granted, there’s the odd thing that’s stuck in vapour lock. The bluesy “Messenger” is kind of meh and sluggish, and the transition from “So High” to final cut “Nobody Really Knows Me” is quite jarring. However, there is more than enough to make up for these sonic pitfalls. First song and promotional track “The Garden” blazes a trail through the atmosphere and rocks out in a distorted fashion. “Real Life”, meanwhile, is what you’d get if T. Rex slashed their speakers. “Afterall” has a baroque style with an introductory harpsichord figure and reverby guitars that bring the song right into the soft rock ‘70s. Basically, what you get with AMBDS is a musical adventure, a trip into the heavens and the inner mind. Even when it doesn’t quite gel, the sheer scope and ambition of this album raises it a notch or two above the standard garage rock or psych rock fare. Smash your heads on the psychedelic rock to this, my friends. A Million Billion Dying Suns are out to expand your consciousness.