Coke Weed, the psychedelic islander rock ‘n roll quintet, hailing from Downeast Maine’s Mount Desert Island, released its third album this week, the self released Back to Soft. The album opens with a sleepy surf paced track, “Sunseekers”, vivid like a memory of spinning slowly in place, arms extended outward, before succumbing to the dizzying daze of your ear fluids moving to a single side of your cranium. Your graceful tumble back to earth is as welcoming as the title track, “Back to Soft”. You land on soft soil, and you roll shoulder over shoulder, caught in the buzz of an afternoon beachside daydream. When the hypnotic, dreamy rhythm rolls on for the last time, track three, “Anklet”, is there like a whisky shot. The melody and tempo screams Guided by Voices, stochastic fuzzy guitar opening fire over the rock solid back beat. It’s the kind of tune that glides like an arm extended out a speeding car, rising and falling with the flow, like a leaf caught in a gust, somersaulting down a grassy knoll as picking up momentum fast, until a familiar voice shouts “hey, slow down man!” A phrase which is actually heard on “Deep Sleeper”, a psychedelic trance-march into the abyss with droning guitar sustaining echoes in your seemingly empty skull. Flashbacks of unexpected stirrings in the bushes down yonder, and you are left wondering whether it really was just a dream.
The totality of Back to Soft is raw and thrown-back, the way a dream-rock surf-psych group from an island that’s far from tropical should be – sustaining reverb, tambourine tough enough to trudge Maine winter snow, whiskey to get you feeling your toes again. If you’re looking for a record that elicits the feeling of dreaming in panoramic, look no further, because this Coke Weed isn’t cut.
– Paul Smith