The Spaceman Reissue Program: Laser Guided Melodies, TWO VARIANTS: 180G Black Vinyl 2LP & 180G White Vinyl(Special Editition) 2LP-Mastered @ 45RPM from a half-speed lacquer cut by Alchemy Mastering!
Spiritualized’s debut album, released a short time after the band had floated free from Spacemen 3, is a record both in thrall to rock’n’roll tradition and ambivalent about rock’s foundations in heaviness and grit. While rock’n’roll is a corporeal movement, the sound of bodies moving in time, Lazer Guided Melodies—which is being reissued on 180-gram vinyl—feels almost weightless, an astral take on the blues that seems to drift by on cosmic winds. It’s one of the most gentle rock records of its time, with spaced-out guitars and rolling bass lines tenderly nudging Jason Pierce’s vocal melodies along like a weathered stone rolling slowly down a hill.
As Spacemen 3 fractured at the start of 1990s, Pierce asked members Will Carruthers, Jonny Mattock, and Mark Refoy to form Spiritualized, with the second side of Spacemen 3’s final album, Recurring, serving as a Spiritualized record in all but name. And yet the leap in quality— and, indeed, clarity—between the slightly murky promise of Recurring and Lazer Guided Melodies, which was released in 1992, is startling. Pierce has said that Recurring was the sound of a band finding their way; Lazer Guided Melodies seemed to emerge from the ether perfectly realized, the work of a band utterly in control of their fate.
Lazer Guided Melodies’ effects-laden guitars and hushed vocals may have had something in common with shoegaze bands like Slowdiveand Ride, who were then emerging onto England’s indie rock scene. But Spiritualized went further back for their inspiration: “Run” is a brilliantly rolling half-cover of a song by American blues guitarist J. J. Cale, while “Shine A Light,” with its chorus of “Lord, shine a light on me” and languid saxophone, draws on the gospel tradition. This song also demonstrates what a sharp songwriter Pierce can be, with two lines of perfect vocal melody gliding languorously about the mix. -Pitchfork BEST NEW REISSUE (9.0)!