“Scumbag lysergic racket” is the term-employed by Luminous Bodies in order to describe the titanic, tinnitus-friendly amplified chaos birthed and blasted relentlessly on their recently released self-titled debut album (out now on Box Records).
We’ll withhold our judgment at the moment on the band’s self-identification under the label of “scumbag,” but when it comes to a “lysergic racket,” perhaps no band on earth has ever more accurately nailed their appeal, their essence, their molten core. So spot-on is the description that it makes writing about Luminous Bodies feel like an exercise in futility, and not a particularly beneficial exercise at that. Suffice it to say that Luminous Bodies are currently the galaxy’s foremost and most accomplished purveyors of “scumbag lysergic racket,” and the resulting album is undeniably the “scumbag lysergic racket” album of the year.
Saying much more than that would threaten to destroy the utter joy that comes from having these songs shred the time and space continuum that exists between our ears, which we’re tempted to describe as the sound of Galactus giving up the intergalactic ghost, smoking a bag of anything, and getting way, way, way into “Vincebus Eruptum.” The Luminous Bodies mission statement could be something like, “land on a riff, bash that motherfucker out, squeeze the life out of it and create a new life in the process.” But such descriptions may trivialize the album’s accomplishments and, more important, such descriptions fail to better that which has erupted straight from the Bodies’ mouth – “scumbag lysergic racket.”
When the album opens with “Man’s Milk,” a high-steed ride designed to trample and crush all that step into its path, the listener inevitably felled while asking the musical question, “How come David Lee Roth never joined the Melvins for ‘Stoner Witch’”? It’s “scumbag lysergic racket.”
When “Stay Dead” delivers what is possibly the most life-affirming hook on the entire album (and make no mistake – this is “scumbag lysergic racket” that is at times positively riddled with hooks), while croaking out classic lines like, “a collapsing star is your new look”? It’s “scumbag lysergic racket.”
When “Lady Graveyard” struts and slays, bringing to mind a distant, alien-born relative to Pentagram’s “Lazy Lady,” or what would be, in the wrong hands, the worst song that L.A. Guns never recorded, yet, instead, effortlessly becomes “A.C. Guns (alpha centauri, that is)”? When “Destroyed” employs a “Pay to Cum” pace and extolls the virtues of drugs and brown rice, possibly at the same time? When album closer “Om Naman Shivaya” dares to ask another musical question that no thought needed answering – namely, “Wouldn’t it be cool if Donovan joined Extreme Noise Terror”? It’s “scumbag lysergic racket.”
All hail “scumbag lysergic racket.” All hail Luminous Bodies. Listen loudly. Listen repeatedly. Stay dead.
The self-titled debut from Luminous Bodies is available now from Box Records.
“Luminous is this mind, brightly shining, but it is colored by the attachments that visit it. This unlearned people do not really understand, and so do not cultivate the mind. Luminous is this mind, brightly shining, and it is free of the attachments that visit it. This the noble follower of the way really understands; so for them there is cultivation of the mind.” – Anguttara Nikaya