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Star Sponge Vision: Crowley And Me

If you know your Aleister Crowley, then you’ll know that Star Sponge Vision is one of the man’s ‘personal spiritual visions’ and with the album by the band of that name called Crowley And Me, we are left in no doubt who and what this album is about. The band itself comes together round Pretty Things men Twink (drums) and Jon Povey (Keybaords, piano, vocals and narration) as the latter constructs a tale that explores the story of the ‘Wickedest man in the world’; Povey long fascinated by a figure who was seen as being ahead of his time and often found as lyrical inspiration for the likes of Ozzy Osbourne. While Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page was also known to be fascinated by a character who came to fame for being everything from a poet to a Satanist. Lyrically you can here, if you wish, delve deeper into Crowley and his fancies, many of which would these days been seen as accepted behaviour and, of course, many of which would not.

If, however, it’s not a subject matter that grabs your antenna (I will admit to having no inclination towards Crowley whatsoever) then you’ll need to hang your hat on an album that seems to stretch into the past for inspiration. With Povey’s voice never quite the strongest, he often relies on what is a characterful delivery to tell this story. At points, such as on “Clouds Without Water” he comes across as something of a poor man’s Gerry Rafferty, the storytelling lilt not quite backed by the melodic sway you’d necessarily hope for. The music itself is equally gentle and, in the main, not particularly challenging, with an ability to too readily blend into the background in a way that can make the likes of “The Mantra” disappear into the ether. Opening “Crowley And Me” does up the guitar intensity a little, while the gentle hum of “Kathleen Divine” carries a certain despairing charm. However, in general there’s not really much to get your teeth into. Everything is brought together with a clear eye for detail but even after numerous spins, no matter how hard I try, I simply find my mind wandering away from this album and basically forgetting that it is playing at all.

Admittedly I’m not a fan of The Pretty Things and have no fascination in the subject matter covered here. If either of those aspects pique your interest, then you might have a better chance of engaging with what is clearly a crafted, but for me, decidedly uneventful album.

Track Listing
1. Crowley and Me
2. The Pentagram
3. Clouds Without Water
4. The Mantra
5. The Tent
6. The Logos
7. Hymn To Pan
8. Kathleen Divine
9. The Buddhist
10. The Gypsy
11. Grave Grey Eyes
12. Lament For Al
13. Why Do You Wait

Added: November 23rd 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Crowley And Me @ bandcamp
Hits: 619
Language: english

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