Evil Acidhead - In the Name of All That is Unholy

by Gerry Hathaway Rating:3 Release Date:2015-06-19

Evil Acidhead was the moniker used by former Monster Magnet guitarist John McBain for his one-off psychedelic noise recording from 1988, In the Name of All That is Unholy. The previously limited cassette-only release is out in June on double vinyl, remastered CD, and digital formats from Agitated Records.

In the Name of All That is Unholy is a lo-fi, low-rent psychedelic drone concerto that bleeds lethargy. The level of actual performance on this recording is certainly open to interpretation given its cobbled-together atmosphere (or lack thereof).  

Most songs lumber along, propelled by tinny looped samples, organ, and grating guitar feedback. There are no drums or percussion. The pace of the record is funereal and channels desolation not unlike the industrialized nightmare felt in David Lynch’s Eraserhead. Perhaps (and I hope) this was the purpose of the recording.

Elements of this album do draw parallels to the soundscapes found on the excellent Spine of God, McBain’s only album with Monster Magnet. Unfortunately, there is never anything compelling to grab onto musically with Evil Acidhead.

In the Name of All That is Unholy is less about sonic exploration and more about gimmicks. The end result feels like a record best suited for scaring trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. It exists for shock value alone and in that regard, it succeeds in making the listener feel uncomfortable.

I can’t really recommend it due to its lack of musical replay value, but psychedelic thrill-seekers will likely get a kick out of this barnyard exhibit of a record for its sheer audacity alone.  

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