Finally back in print! The last album from Skullflower to be released in the 1990's, the classic This Is Skullflower is one of the legendary drone-rock group's most acid-soaked and albums, nixing the pummeling pipe battles that typified much of their previous work and sounding a whole hell of a lot like a conceptual bridge between the roaring, blasted power-ragas of Transformer and the soaring sun-baked skree drones that Matthew Bower would busy himself with in Sunroof, his solo project which would occupy most of his attention throughout the rest of the decade.
Fans of the Exquisite Fucking Boredom and Orange Canyon Mind albums will find common ground here; while the guitars aren't as searing and distorted as they would get on Bower's post-y2K efforts, these four lengthy tracks are still shot straight through the heart of the sun, scraping strings and buzzing meditative guitar hum streaming endlessly out of a white-hot blast of amplified light, each of these long form stoner-buzz-rituals extended into infinity, infinite Hawkwind-ian psychdrone workouts built from dense billowing cacophonies of guitar and viola and sheets of metallic feedback, driven by clattery hand percussion and Stuart Denison's shambling sub-motorik drumming.
The piano sets the album apart from most of Skullflower's oeuvre, though; clanking keys and improvised piano lines scuttling across the smoldering dronescapes and mutant acid-guitar freak outs, adding a strangely jazzy vibe to the album. But even in spite of all of the sun-dappled psychedelic dronebliss, Skullflower still can't help but emit an ominous, otherworldly vibe on This Is Skullflower, and the final track "The Pirate Ship of Reality Is Moving Out" is an almost forty minute performance of apocalyptic freeform scrape and roar, a sprawling monstrous din that was recorded live at a club performance in 1995 which bleeds somber strains of softened psych guitar into a blistering mass of crushing feedback, amp buzz, and free-jazz skronk.
The lineup of the band for this album consisted of Matt Bower alongside Richard Youngs on guitar, John Godbert on piano and hand drum, Stuart Dennison on drums and viola and Russell Smith (God/Terminal Cheesecake) on guitar. Essential for Skullflower fans and anyone into the heavy-duty drone rock of Pelt, Flying Saucer Attack and Vibracathedral Orchestra.