Ecstatic Vision – Sonic Praise (Relapse)

Genre: Space Rock/Stoner

If you still like wearing that tatty Hawkwind t-shirt at festivals, or have a penchant for early Monster Magnet, then you’ll lap up Sonic Praise like a steaming bowl of magic mushroom soup.

One of the finest heavy psych records you’ll hear all year, Ecstatic Vision’s debut is space rock heaven, laden with acid-fuelled freak outs, sax solos and hypnotic, tribal rhythms. Hell, with song titles like Astral Plane, you know what you’re getting… but you’re still surprised by how far you’re pulled into this album’s technicolor vortex.

This Philadelphia outfit are made for riff-driven extravaganzas like Desertfest and Roadburn, but would presumably be equally as happy playing the likes of Journey to a dozen people in a West Country field, watching the sun set over some standing stones. And that’s part of the band’s charm – they’re able to tap into the vibe that makes this kind of music so special, without ever feeling like they’re trying too hard.

Ecstatic? You may well be after listening to this. Richard Holmes