Litmus obviously was the kid in class which was paying most attention when Hawkwind was teaching. They almost literally copied the sound of Hawkwind and updated it to sound more contemporary. What do you get when you upgrade space rock? You're right, it's stoner rock. At least that is what time tells us. When space rock was revived in the early nineties the bands, that utilized its sound, incorporated some doom metal to give it the stoner sound. Black Sabbath meets Hawkwind so to say, if you're not too good with genre definitions.
So does Litmus sound like stoner rock? No, they don't sound like that at all. With the exception of the occasional stoner rock riff, it's basically recycling Lemmy-era Hawkwind. Litmus makes mellotron loaded music, driven by psychedelic guitar layers, loads of bleeps and the occasional riff to give it that extra bite. The band found an appropriate label to spread their music. Their label Rise Above Records focuses on stoner rock and doom metal. So these guys fit in seamlessly with their label mates. The cover art for this release is striking. Never have I seen a cover that resembles the music on offer this well. There should be a note with it saying: "If you dig this cover, you will surely love the music... dude!" So if you're a Hawkwind fan and you're up for some new material which sounds like them in their heyday, you should be pleased with this effort. It gets even better for you then, because this album is preceded by two other albums, namely "You Are Here" and "Planetfall".
This record works out pretty well. Musically it's top notch, because they found exactly the right formula. Except for this formula, there are also other traces of music which can be found in here. If you liked Presto Ballet's first album, you might get excited and if the atmosphere created by Anathema on A Natural Disaster makes you happy, this might also be something for you. The big downside of Litmus however is the vocals. Too bad, that they're of this quality. The music has a lot of depth and layers, but the vocals single-handedly tear them down. The vocals really put me off and kept me from giving a rating that this record really deserves. Luckily enough, they don't sing that much.
1. Beyond The Sun
2. In The Burning Light
4. Miles Away
6. Kings Of Infinite Space
7. Ma:55oN Rift
8. Red Skies