EARTHLESS: “From the Ages” Track-by-Track Breakdown

If you haven’t heard Earthless’s From the Ages yet, you are missing out on the best instrumental psych jam album of the year. These guys don’t NEED a vocalist; any singer would just get left behind, abandoned to float off in space forever. The members of the band were kind enough to give a track by track breakdown for us (which, admittedly, wasn’t too hard, considering that there are only four songs), each written by the guy who named the song. So if you haven’t purchased the record yet, this will tell you what you’re missing; if you have, it’ll give you some new insight into the awesomeness. Just to give you a taste, I’ve included the stream of the first tune, but you’ll have to buy it if you want the rest. And you totally should.

Track 1: “Violence of the Red Sea” (by Mike Eginton)

“The writing process of “Violence of the Red Sea” began during a time period when the band was not very active. The bass riffs were the outline for the structured portions of the song, which were inspired by a variety of influences ranging from heavy funk tracks to UK/Euro prog-psych bands such as T2, Amon Duul II, and IL Balleto Di Bronzo, among others. The open portion of the song, or the “jam” part rolls along with a more laid back groove, not so much on the attack compared to the first part. The final part of the song is something we’ve had in the vaults for almost 10 years. A simple progression ending up in a sort of “rave up”. We thought it worked well as a cap to the song and also like that it added a little tension at the end. The song was pieced together by Mike and Mario which left Isaiah free range to pretty much do whatever he wished with his guitar. The title of the song reflects the different tempos and riffs colliding together like an angry sea. Also a little ode to Cream’s “Tales of Brave Ulysses”.

Track 2: “Uluru Rock” (by Isaiah Mitchell)

“Uluru Rock was conceived at our Tym Guitars in-store in Brisbane Australia in December of 2012. Mike and I were waiting for Mario to come out of the bathroom and we were just standing up there, staring at each other and at the audience. To break the awkwardness I started playing a riff (now titled Uluru Rock). Mario got on the drums, I told Mike what key I was in and we started off our set with this new jam. We have opened every show since with Uluru Rock. The song was conceived in Australia so it should get a proper Australian name. The name comes from the sacred Aboriginal site also known as Ayers Rock. We honor the natives by calling it Uluru. “

Track 3: “Equus October” (by Mario Rubalcaba)

“This stemmed out of a jam from a few years ago. It originally went into some other parts that were never fully realized. But Mike & I would always still mess around with this bass line when just the both of us would jam. I’m not sure if we were totally planning to use this for the LP or not but we just thought to give it a go to at least have it on tape & to add some stuff onto it. Once Isaiah put some layers & stuff over it, it really started to take on some personality. To me it had this really strong & majestic yet mournful vibe to it. It felt like a death sentence or a sacrifice to something was being handed out. When I discovered the ritual of the “October Horse” and that it was a sacrifice to Mars, it took on the feeling I had about the jam & how it just completely comes crashing down so abruptly at the end.

Track 4: “From the Ages” (by Mario Rubalcaba)

“This has to be our most structured piece that we have ever done IMO. At the time when it was being written (2008) I was listening to a lot of Captain Beyond (or anything Bobby Caldwell), Cactus & Discharge.

To me this giant slice o’ pie has all the toppings. A supreme psycho-delic buffet served up with all the sour Kraut, all the freshest sushi Japan has to offer & what not. The more we would jam it, the more things would get added onto it & we would just keep going back to this repetitive riff that would make us laugh because it was just so “hammer over the head” how long we would drag it out. There’s a little bit of punkness in there too that would really accelerate Isaiah’s leads. The feel of the song had this pre-historic, caveman, dry & mysterious wasteland feel to it… I felt it was “from the ages” so that was what I proposed to name it. I feel that Alan Forbes’ artwork captures it to a T!”

***From the Ages is out now courtesy of Teepee. Visit their Facebook page here. Grab the CD here or double LP here.