This Fall, San Franciscan four-piece Carlton Melton are releasing their third album of lush, expansive psychedelic ambience titled Photos Of Photos. Mastered by and featuring John McBain (Monster Magnet, Well Water Conspiricy) on guitar/synth/echoplex, the new album was recorded in the same geodesic dome in Mendocino County as its predecessors. Photos Of Photos is being issued in the U.S. by Agitated Records, distributed by Revolver on October 30.
Carlton Melton features former Zen Guerilla members Andy Duvall on guitar and drums and Rich Millman on guitar and synthesizers, alongside drummer Brian McDougall and bassist Clint Golden. On Photos Of Photos the band take their organic improvised psych-jam to the highest sonic plane, pulverizing the psychedelic hypno-drone that has come before. The new album is a testament of Carlton Melton’s ability to bottle and hone what could be a heavy indecipherable psychedelic mess into something more coherent, uncompromising and often MUCH louder: the lush pastoral sonics of “Nor’ Easter” and title track; the smoldering gargantuan riffs of “Space Treader”; and the hypnotic synth droning and spare rhythms of album closer “Wingspan.”
Unlike contemporaries like White Hills, Wooden Shjips, Cave, White Noise Sound etc. Carlton Melton are less concerned with pulse, rhythm or groove than they are with the SOUND, and the VIBE; drifting more often than driving, huge clouds of swirling wah guitars, and minimalist drumming. The band float weightlessly though swirling star-lit sonic skies before their descent into trance-inducing drones – burrowing deep into the earth.
Carlton Melton formed along the Mendocino County coastline mid 2008, born out of a desire to test sonic theory – playing live, loud, improvised, experimental, instrumental, psychedelia in a geodesic dome. The idea had been discussed for many years but it wasn’t until the dome was completely rebuilt that the idea could be put into motion. Their first album, Pass It On, was released on vinyl in 2009 on the band’s own label and quickly won high praise from j mascis. The follow-up, Country Ways, came out the following year to enormous acclaim from U.K. press:
“intense, sweet, headnodding psych” Uncut
“a dizzying, disembodied dose of fucked up space psych drug-DOME bliss!!” Roadburn
“psychedelia at it’s most expansive and exquisite” Kerrang
“….horizon sweeping afterglow….” Mojo
Carlton Melton – a mind-altering magick carpet ride down the Californian highway.