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The Lilys / Aspera Ad Astra - Split

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Album Review

This eight-track split release embraces the full spectrum of Philadelphia's so-called "Psychedelphia" space-rock scene, bringing together four unreleased tracks from the Lilys that were recorded around the time of the group's 1995 Eccsame the Photon Band album alongside a brand new session from latter-day torchbearers Aspera Ad Astra. While it's more than a bit jarring to hear the Lilys' material in light of the genre-hopping of their recent records, the shoegazer-inspired Eccsame period was perhaps the band's strongest, offering the ideal canvas for Kurt Heasley's soft-focus atmospherics and attention to sonic detail. While expanding on the promise of their debut album Peace, meanwhile, Aspera Ad Astra's four songs nevertheless reveal the inherent limitations of the retro approach common to both bands — though separated by over six years, for all intents and purposes the disc's two distinct sessions could be the work of the same artist, recorded at that same time. Love it or hate it, there's no denying neo-psychedelia's creative restrictions, and after a while it all bleeds together — which, for better or worse, is exactly why fans of the genre will want to snap this up.

The Lilys / Aspera Ad Astra - Split, Aspera Ad Astra
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