Right to Fly

CD Cover Timothy Leary & Simon Stokes
PsychoRelic Records

Review by Darren Kerr

45-second excerpt from "Fugu Fish" (351 Kb .au file)

Well, good ol' Millbrook Tim never got to be cryogenically frozen, and he never got to pass into the next realm live on the Internet, but, with the recording of Right to Fly, at least he got to be David Peel for a day. But I have no idea who Simon Stokes is -- though Shane Williams of Flipside Magazine describes him simply as "the biker rock god."

This album doesn't show any psychedelic rock icons how it's done any more than they would know their way around a lab or an arcane psychology text. Most of the lyrics sound like cosmic overkill, as if they were upgrades of the more pretentious 60's bands like Lothar and the Hand People or Ultimate Spinach (e.g. "Hey now mama, let's go downtown/flyin' high and gettin' down/gonzo hyper cybernate/jump in the air and levitate" from "Fugu Fish" and "Hypnotists and partisans/crash download the new FORTRAN/I'll be your seeing-eye man/Immanuel Kant Genghis Khan" from "Seeing Eye Man"). Elsewhere sees Leary having delusions of the cyberdelic George Clinton kind with "Cyber Sue and Shimmy Jimmy/Party on down with Dr. Timmy" or "Blast your booty, bust a move/Mosh your mind and ride the groove," both from "Fugu Fish."

The music itself ranges from John Prine-ish if-it-feels-good-do-it-fuck-the-establishment folk rock to basic blues rock to even a little metal. There is some tasty guitar reminiscent of the late great John Cipollina (Quicksilver Messenger Service) on "PsychoRelic Rap," and some of the songs grow on you in a drunken campfire way. The good doctor darts in and out of songs, laying down technical raps in a voice somewhere between William S. Burroughs and Floyd the Barber, while Simon Stokes sings like one of the fugs, gruff and oily and wanting to boink your sister.

In spite of its flaws, I like this album's wiggy charm and I'll probably play it more than I'll care to admit. Recommended for those looking to enter a different meatspace.

Artist Contact Info: 2633 Lincoln Blvd., Suite 248, Santa Monica, CA, USA, 90405

First published in Drop-D Magazine on February 7, 1997

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