One Saturday afternoon in April 2009, a group of grizzled Japanese fellows climbed out of a van on East Washington Avenue. They loaded their amps and drums into the little Good Style Shop, played about 20 minutes of roaring psychedelic rock point-blank at the crowd, sold some merchandise on the sidewalk, then got back in the van to make a show in Minneapolis.
Acid Mothers Temple return to Madison this weekend for a more proper show, but an impromptu set in a cramped resale shop was as valid a way to experience them as any. The group embrace mutating sounds and an ever-shifting collective membership of 30-odd people. Some of their album covers have naked people on them. They even have different names for their varied outgrowths, including Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso UFO, the compact version now touring the States.
Glancing over AMT's discography is a bit like surveying a jazz artist's output, what with dozens of releases on nearly as many labels, though few jazz albums boast titles as great as Demons From Nipples.
The listening is chaotic. Founder Kawabata Makoto's furious lead guitar is something of a constant, but the format's always changing. Have You Seen the Other Side of The Sky?, from 2006, comes on relatively gently with its acoustic guitars, flute and background tracks of sex noise, but it shifts into high-tempo pounding with "I Wanna Be Your Bicycle Saddle."
On 2005's SWR, "Do You Know Where the Second Hand Record Shop Is?" opens with a smear of echoing voices and bleating feedback, which give way to a jam that's at times heavy and at times chill, conversational. In 2002, AMT released their version of minimalist composer Terry Riley's "In C."
The Important Records label calls the new Son of a Bitches Brew the band's "total transformation into an electric jazz unit." Expect Acid Mothers' set here to dwell on high-volume oblivion, and expect them to sound completely at home amid their own cosmic shrapnel.