Exploded View–Car Stereo Review 3/95


Ever wish you could take a ride on the Space Shuttle? Here’s the alternative: Pick up Steve Tibbetts’ The Fall of Us All instead. It’ll transport you to places in the cosmos you never knew existed.

Call the album’s overall vibe “world-beat psychedelia.” Guitarist Tibbetts links ambient choral noodlings with exotic chants and moans as well as propulsive percussion from Marcus Wise’s tabla and Marc Anderson’s congas, and the result is a heady canvas that’s simply bursting with primal energy. (If your only brush with electic percussion was with early-‘70s Santana albums, you’re in for a clinic.)

All throughout this exotic maelstrom, Tibbetts’ commanding guitar work literally travels the globe in search of the lost tone. The soul-scream / feedback outbursts on “Full Moon Dogs” and “Nyemma” hurtle headfirst toward furious climaxes, while the more somber moments of “formless” and “Fade Away” are much like watching the sun emerge from behind the clouds after a vicious thunderstorm.

The Fall of Us All is an aural snapshot of the journey to the center of a tortured mind—make sure you climb aboard.

Mike Mettler and Michael Gelfand


(The drum studies that formed the backbone of the rhythms took place in Bali with I Nyoman Pak Sumandhi.  A documentary about Sumadhi's father is here)