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Titan - A Raining Sun of Light & Love, For You & You & You

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Artist: Titan

Album: A Raining Sun of Light & Love, For You & You & You

Label: Tee Pee

Review date: Apr. 13, 2007

Titan have crafted an album here that is oddly difficult to write about. That might be due to its overall modus operandi as it flows smoothly through 42 minutes broken (somewhat at random, it seems) into four tracks of roughly equal length. It might be due to the difficulty in getting a handle on the variations on a theme offered, owing inspiration to everything from Hawkwind and Neu to Acid Mothers Temple and '70s Europeans like Lard Free and Siloah (not to mention contemporaries like Comets on Fire and SubArachnoid Space).

The four-piece band consists of adaptable guitarist Josh Anzano and drummer Dave Liebowitz, Kris D'Agostino on keyboards, and Dan Bates on bass. The quartet know how to make the most of its lineup; sometimes we hear just drums and synth, or guitar and organ, which lends greater weight to the full-on band when they kick it into high gear.

The album begins with a feint, delicate acoustic guitar and folk singing, but after a minute or so things warp and phase. Huge guitar and organ riffs crush the acoustic intro and we're off and running with something that resembles Deep Purple meeting Iota in a dingy back alley. From there, Titan include some very prog-oriented moves with rapid-fire licks from both guitar and keyboards, while at other moments they plow into straight-ahead Hawkwind-derived space rock and simplify things with Neu-esque grooves, steady drums locking in with loping synth riffs. They're not afraid to bring it back down, and at times the fuzz blows away to reveal quiet guitar notes and moaning synth, but we're also offered chaotic psych freakouts a la Makoto Kawabata.

The extended nature of this album makes it impossible to talk about "songs" per se, and that's perhaps both a strength and a weakness of what Titan have created here. It's a great listen for anyone excited by spacey psych-prog, with countless terrific moments of ecstatic playing; the album's equally at home in a car at high speed or when you're ready to switch off your brain at day's end. But at the same time, since it's based on the whole experience and not song-by-song, it's not something where you'll find a piece popping into your head as you think, "yeah, I like that one."

By Mason Jones

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