Om, Lichens - Drum n bass... and more!
Although I’ve seen Om perform three times already, this European trek was the first time I saw a headlining show by this act. I always enjoy their shows and albums, although the last two efforts don’t appeal as much to me as the first two did. With this feeling in my gut I went down to the 013 to have some beers and listen to some stoner mantras.
Support on this tour comes from Lichens, a spaced out dude that creates some spaced out music. He looks like an LSD tripping version of Don King, the legendary box manager, so it is safe to say his appearance already makes a lasting impression. His performance here was very short, like 15-20 minutes max. In this lapse of time he created an ambient soundscape that gradually intensified by adding layers of noise and distortion. He used a lot of vocals in this composition in a high pitched way, reminding a bit of an act like Sigur Ros. Overall an interesting performance but I was glad he wasn’t planning on doing this for a full hour set.
Well, before Om had even struck a note it was clear to see they were going to do something different. Mister Lichens was added as a third member, handling everything from guitar, synths, vocals and small percussion like tambourines. This made it possible for Om to play a lot of material from their latest effort God Is Good, which holds a lot of hippie-like jam parts. Luckily they also played one of the songs of the first record which was an absolute delight to hear. During that track I basically clinged to the low end speaker in the venue soaking up all those lovely vibrations (and no that is not meant in a sexual context, or is it…?). After this song though, they only played newer material and also songs of the last album you really wouldn’t expect. Luckily the band came back for an encore which was the lovely ‘Pilgrimage’ which has a nice tune/vibe to it. Also I’d like to mention that although Emil Amos is certainly a world class drummer with his powerful beats and technical groove, I still miss Chis Hakius’ slow stoner beats. This new guy is just too busy filling everything up, it doesn’t feel right or natural. Well to conclude this story, I must say I enjoyed the heavy parts where Al Cisneros kicks in his distortion pedal, but the newer material made me go home with mixed feelings. And I don’t think they’ll be heading back in the direction I would like in the future…