Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home

Magic Mushroom Band

Singles and Rarities

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve got this included in the progressive rock section because it’s got a definite space rock vibe and has a lot in common musically with Pink Floyd and Hawkwind. This is a cool disc that has a psychedelia meets space rock texture while still maintaining a techno aspect to a lot of the CD. It’s got some of the same people who brought you Astralasia on board. So, fans of that group will certainly like this, too. Actually, this group is apparently not around any more, but this is a collection of some of their more obscure tracks.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
Pictures In My Mind
This cut seems to me to merge Hawkwind styled space rock with the psychedelia of Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd. It’s a hard rocking up tempo cut that’s quite cool. The guitar solo is particularly tasty.
Squatter in the House
Saxophone leads this off and we get a sultry female voice coming in. This gives way to a rubbery sort of techno jam where that voice carries on the lyrics in a whispered way. Space rock textures are woven into this tapestry as are the sounds of a woman – shall we say enjoying certain physical pleasures. Those space rock modes really add a lot to this piece. Without them it would be pretty much a house/dance cut. With them it calls to mind Hawkwind quite a bit.
Eight Miles High
Here they cover the Byrds. You aren’t expecting a straight ahead cover are you? If so, you’ll be disappointed. The first half of this only barely resembles the original. It comes closer to feeling like something from early Pink Floyd. Even when they bring the familiar chorus in later it feels like it’s distorted through some sort of hazy veil. This is cool and far more interesting than a version that is so much like the original that we’d be wondering what they brought to the table. The extended closing jam on this is a powerhouse piece of psychedelic space rock.
Magick Eye
This comes in with a tentative Hawkwind like sound. As they kick into the song proper that sort of keyboard dominated Hawktexture is blended with a techno beat for great effect. When the bouncy vocal section takes it this combination of sounds is intensified.
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Turning their attention to Pink Floyd should seem obvious. The guitar solo later is really very much in keeping with the sounds of Hawkwind. They play this one somewhat close to the original, but then again, Floyd’s version was quite open and able to be interpreted. This might be my favorite track on the CD. It’s pretty incredible. At nearly fifteen minutes in length this magnum opus is also the longest cut on show here.
Life Is So Strange (Edit)
For a song with “Strange” in the title, this is one of the catchiest and “normal” moments of the disc. It’s got a bouncy acoustic guitar motif with some Floydian slide guitar. In fact, in many ways this seems to blend a 1960’s flower power sound with early Pink Floyd. It’s a cool tune and we really needed something light after “Set the Controls…”
Turban Paranoia (Bombay Mix)
As you might guess from the title we get an Eastern musical motif here. This is a powerhouse jam that again has some Hawkwind like textures to it. It’s also got the return of that techno-like rhythmic structure. Although there are some non-lyrical vocals in the mix, they might be sampled. Overall this is an instrumental. It’s got some great guitar soloing in it, too.
Astralasia (Tribe All Mix)
Here we get a more pure techo jam, but still there are some great musical elements swirling around the top. This again calls to mind early Hawkwind (and even some of the later more electronic stuff) quite a bit. This is another instrumental.
Slap Tongue Squeaky Bonk
This is a trippy instrumental romp that has some aspects of Hawkwind and Pink Floyd in the mix. I also hear Kraftwerk, too, though. This is fun, but I tend to think it doesn’t do enough in terms of varying the sound or creating new motifs to maintain itself over the course of a twelve plus minute track. Still, it definitely has its moments.

Return to the
Magic Mushroom Band Artist Page
Return to the
Astralasia Artist Page
Artists Directory

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./