(The Bardo Story)
60's Psychedelic rock
The Wellwater Conspiracy, The Beatles, 13th Floor Elevators
The debut album from Salvia Plath, crafted by the drug-laced efficienado Michael Collins whose former creation Run DMT featured more ambient drug messages than a crack house in Chicago. The Bardo Story features a variety of musicians blending 60's psychedelia with acoustic guitars, keyboards, flutes and a boatload of 60's feel good harmony.
Collins vocals appear throughout and are somewhat mediocre. He has a knack for hooks and melodies that stick while blending bizzaro sounds and ambiance. While we did found the album entertaining through the first half of the tracks, things start to decline once "Carly's Theme" kicks in. The last five cuts give you the sense that they ran out of patience and slapped a few additional songs together to get a full length making for a disjointed album. The album primarily possesses a stoner laid back vibe infused periodically with some odd distortions, vocals and cool instrumental interludes. The instrumental interlude "Stranded" shines featuring some very unique whistling effects. "Bardo States" is a very impressive track with distant vocals coupled with some unique string out of key technique. We hear some Velvet Underground currents throughout. "House of Leaves," track 4 is also pretty solid stuff as the tune provides a real authentic 60's pop feel with some nice background organ and vocal work. Things start to decline with the pop cheer of "This American Life" and "Phased". The 'Hidden Track' is also a snoozer with some painful intentional off-key vocals melding into some raw Beatlesesque echo.
We credit Collins for the attempted original revival of 60's psychedelia. Unfortunately, he should have stopped after track 6 and kept this one to an EP. Worth a listen, however, if you are yearning something a little off the beaten path, but true to its ethereal mood. - 6/1.2014
Standout Tracks: Bardo States, House of Leaves