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Review: Floorian – At Your Surface (released November 11, 2016)

Floorian have been a mainstay of American space rock for almost 20 years now. At Your Surface is their fourth album, an album steeped in edgy, psychedelic investigations rippling through many shadowy layers. The pace of the album is perhaps a bit more languid than previous works, as the band explores a narcotic, mesmerizing world of sonic mysteries. The overall sound of At Your Surface is misty and murky, and I mean that in the best way. I mean it in the sense that Floorian’s sound is deep and sonorous, oceanic in nature (as the cover art suggests), as the listener floats on its fog haunted surface, aware of the murky depths below that conceal a sense of overwhelming mystery.

I immediately hear an early Pink Floyd influence on the opening cut, Ternion, with its slowly drifting rhythm and eerie, vaguely exotic sounding melodies. The spacey Farfisa sounding organ in particular will have you looking back to those heady experimental days of the late 60’s. But after that in-spirit throwback, things move forward into the present (or maybe the future?) with the slow and heavy rocker From On High, one of my favourite tracks on the album, a song that plays mostly plays it cool, well beneath the surface, but when the anthemic chorus riff rises above the waves it becomes truly exhilarating.

And where the song Face is a sort of chugging, industrial ballad, the nearly 10-minute long Icaro is a pulsing, trippy rocker full of weird, spaced out sounds and layers of haunting voices. Spinning Time is the shortest song on the album, at just under 4-minutes. It’s mid-tempo psychedelia makes for a nifty little song that could have been a hit single in another universe. The final track, the 14 ½ minute epic, Agra Man, dives into Eastern oceans, with droning electronic tanpura, and other eastern instruments complimenting the band’s dark and atmospheric space rock. I love how at just past the 5 ½ minute mark, rays of sunshine burst through the brooding clouds and a beautiful acoustic sitar (or oud, possibly) melody takes over for a couple of minutes. The piece eventually builds into a stunning psych/space jam that brings the album to a close.

Although Floorian’s studio album output (4 albums in 20 years) is not prolific, when they do come out with a new release, it’s always sure to knock your socks off, and At Your Surface is definitely a powerhouse of an album that does exactly that. Highly recommended.

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