Guitarist Makoto Kawabata, hirsute helmsman of Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O., once titled a reissue series of his own early work "Learning From the Past." That could just as easily be AMT's motto: this nine-year-old band from Nagoya, Japan, has amassed a ridiculously cluttered catalog (45 entries, not including side projects and compilation tracks) of electrified folk songs, high-octane biker rock, ambient space drone, and shaggy psychedelic jams, all grounded by a passionate but unsentimental revivalism. The centerpiece of their latest album, Mantra of Love (Alien 8), is a half-hour recording of the folk tune "La Le Lo," sung in Occitan (a vernacular language spoken in the south of France) by synth player Cotton Casino; it serves as the foundation for a series of grand edifices, each in one of the Acid Mothers' favorite styles. (Mantra is a sort of farewell to Casino: a founding member of AMT, she left the band after its appearance at All Tomorrow's Parties in March and hasn't been replaced.) Opening act Subarachnoid Space, an instrumental four-piece from the Bay Area, has also undergone a recent personnel change: last year founding guitarist Mason Jones retired from the road (but not the band). The current touring lineup sounds less windblown than previous incarnations: they still do plenty of spiraling, open-ended guitar dueling on the forthcoming Red Veil (Strange Attractors), but now it's anchored by pummeling riffs with a whiff of metal about them--there's even some dire double kick drum. Wolf Eyes, the partying man's noise band, plays second. Bring earplugs. $12 in advance, $14 day of show; 18+. Friday, May 28, 10 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace; 773-478-4408 or 866-777-8932.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Suzy Poling.