The sticker copy for the Black Editions reissue of White Heaven’s Out proclaims the album to be “one of the greatest psychedelic rock albums ever recorded.” For the uninitiated, this will likely smack of hyperbole. But just one spin will likely have you spouting even more grandiose turns of phrase. Originally released by the P.S.F. label in 1991, Out is blown-out bliss from start to finish, with six-string wizard Michio Kurihara handily proving himself to be one of great guitarists of the past half-century or so. His playing masterfully blends the West Coast flights of fancy of John Cippolina with the raw antics of Robert Quine, the twangy grandeur of Morricone’s spaghetti western soundtracks with the virtuosity of late-period Hendrix. Let’s just say that whenever Kurihara steps up for a solo, you know you’re going to get something absolutely incredible. He’s the perfect foil for You Ishihara’s songs, which run the gamut from fierce rave-ups to moody balladeering (often within the same composition). The common thread is how untamed and fresh White Heaven sounds at this point – a young band reaching for glory … and somehow grasping something even better. Forget psychedelic. This is just one of the greatest rock albums ever recorded. words / t wilcox
Dig what we do at Aquarium Drunkard? Do our mixtapes, features, interviews, essays, and original sessions make your listening life better? Help us continue doing it by pledging your support via our Patreon page. Doing so will get you access to our secret stash—including bonus audio, exclusive podcasts, printed ephemera, and vinyl records—and help us keep an independent publication going.