Remember that episode of Star Trek where Captain Kirk fights the guy in a rubber lizard costume on a big rock in California? Well, if that lizard was real and played keyboards, he would be in Lumerians. Here, the band returns with Transmissions From Telos Vol III.
The various bands of space rock can tell different stories of exploration. White Manna are pure cruising power, warp speed enabled and about to head into a wormhole. Dead Sea Apes offer a cold brutality where no one can hear you scream. Mugstar are whacky, zany adventurers. And Lumerians? They’re what you find when you beam down to the planet that looks uncannily like a Universal Studio backlot. Their music is different to just about every other band on the scene. Their music is intangible, seeing them live was almost a disappointment, finding out these guys are humans took something off their mysterious Lumerian appeal. But then they were shrouded in masks, who knows what may be underneath.
Confusingly, Lumerians released Transmissions From Telos Vol IV in 2012, two years before this Vol III. To make matter more confusing, the title appears elsewhere as Transmissions From The Telos. I’m beginning to suspect it isn’t worth worrying about. But one thing is clear, both have pictures of exotic birds on the cover. Like Roxy Music albums.
The truth is that opening track ‘Murder Dubb’s is closer to lounge funk than space rock; it’s more Lalo Schriffrin than Hawkwind. The keys are pure 70s cop show and the bass is more seductive than the Cadbury’s Caramel Bunny. The drums are crisp and bracing and there’s even scratchy guitars in there too. It’s slick, it’s cool and it’s the kind of retro funk the Beastie Boys kept trying to do.
‘Turiya’ offers tinkling tinkling bass and jazzy drumming over keyboard drones. At around the 4 minute marks is begins to reveal itself into a more cohesive whole, albeit still resembling a trippy light show of a neon lava lamp. Stoner jazz?
‘Hook For An Eye’ starts with Hollywood movie trailer swells over a propulsive drum beat and 70s keyboard riffs. Atmospheric and danceable, this is the most accessible track on the album and the most likely to win approval at gigs. But there are still the trademark synth soundscapes building a world of weird wonder in the near distance.
‘Impossible Window / Caballero Futuro’ matches the Lumerians trademark syrupy bass with a impending doom drones, real horror-show my friends. Luckily skin tight drums perk the mood up and then the synths offer ascending fanfares to our conquering space heroes. Spinning out down avenues over 12 minute then is a delicious head trip into parts unknown. Past 6 minutes the drums stomp a call to arms. The guitar fires repetitious laser bolts into the sky. Building to an itense clamour of weaving, shiny noise, this is a heady, noxious brew.
Transmissions From Telos Vol III is a fine release: rich, layered production compliment tunes that are funky and full of frolicking fun. Yet again, Lumerians have delivered a wonderful release that every psychonaut needs.
Conclusion… *gravelly voice*
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. In this dimension Captain Kirk was played by Telly Savalas. Lalo Schifrin provided the music every week. There is a lot of velour and orange upholstery. Welcome to the world of Lumerians.