Record Review - 6 June 10 2004

Mantra of Love is a jam for the bearded and bespectacled college freshman who’s buying nickels on his parents’ dime and luring ladies back to his dorm with nag champa and red wine. Offering up two epic drone-rock pieces, Japanese psyche-rockers Acid Mothers Temple delved in to Canadians Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s school of cyclical composition for this fast/slow, high/low doubleheader. As the 30-minute opening track, “La Le Lo,” takes shape, vocalist Cotton Casino’s ethereal chanting of those very, um, words yields only to brash and brain-bending washes of guitar that wax and wane at will. Ten minutes deep into the song there are no more surprises. Another 10 minutes later, it has gone on for 15 minutes too long. Noticeably absent is the upfront and cerebral intensity that AMT’s releases usually radiate. But with a name like Mantra of Love, one can hardly expect to hear anything other than the sounds of tantric masturbation.

“L’Ambition dans le Miroir” follows suit, this time clocking in at exactly half the length of the opener. The second number is driven by a more spaced-out layering of sci-fi sounds and falling melodies that swirl and collapse upon each other. As the group continues riding the snake, the trip mellows off, bubbling and churning and maintaining the same psychedelic sluggishness with which it started. Like the college freshman wielding it as a sensual weapon, Mantra strikes out.

Acid Mothers Temple plays the Echo Lounge Tues., June 15, at 9 p.m. $10.