Lift to Experience’s Texas Jerusalem Crossroads

Over-the-Bend Column2_75It is meant to be blasted at levels that it can be heard, in fact be heard, in Jerusalem.


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Another day, another edition of “Up Around The Bend.” Today I thought I would share with you an album that most people probably have never heard of. It’s by an American songwriter and now defunct band. This album was actually almost completely ignored here in the U.S. but was slightly better received in Europe. It was released in mid-2001 before 9/11 and the Bush administration’s plan for…whatever. Keep that in mind given the subject matter of the album. This is a ferocious, swirling wall of feedback and guitar driven splendor. This is Lift To Experience and their only album The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads.

I do have to say if you are not a fan of shoegaze and heavy use of guitar driven walls of sound, this probably isn’t going to be an album for you. Now, if you are or you are willing to explore, please, by all means, turn your stereo up when you play this album. It is meant to be blasted at levels that it can be heard, in fact be heard, in Jerusalem. Josh T Pearson is head of Lift To Experience, and he isn’t afraid to let his beliefs and religion shine through in his lyrics. However, this isn’t a Christian album. Far from it actually. This is a concept album about how Texas is now the center of the world with Bush at the helm, and it’s the new Jerusalem. Lyrically, he sounds afraid of what has become of his faith and where it is headed and where we are heading in general as an American society. What makes this even more frightening is this was written and released pre 9/11. When you listen to the album and look back at what happened since with the war, the Bush Administration’s Cowboy Diplomacy and the strengthening of the religious right in this country, it makes this an even more harrowing listen.

The songs are filled with religious imagery and biblical stories and how Texas is the center of it all; the new Jerusalem for a new world. Every song has this apocalyptic epicness to it. The music itself is like a tornado vortex tearing through your speakers. Heavy guitar that is swirling, sprawling, and loud drives home the epic feel to every song, including the acoustic, “Down with the Prophets”. Pearson is strumming like a man possessed. The drumming is almost tribal-like on the album. At points it feels like drummer Andy Young is beating the drums like his life depends on it. Pearson’s delivery and voice is very reminiscent of Jeff Buckley. I would say this album is what would happen if Buckley’s Grace hooked up with My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and produced a new album—pretty damn spectacular company to be thrown in with.

Listening to the album, you have to wonder how this didn’t become a massive hit post 9/11. There is just this certain feel that the music is on the edge of a precipice, and we are just about to fall in, especially on the album closer “Into the Storm”. However, Pearon is able to harness this vortex that he creates on this album and reign it in before it gets out of control and hokey. There is a certain amount of (OK a lot of) foreshadowing on this of things to come, most harrowing.

Sure, this isn’t going to be an album for everyone. I would highly recommend it though, especially to anyone that loves just epic walls of sound. | Mike Koehler

RIYL: Jeff Buckley Grace, My Bloody Valentine Loveless, Ride Nowhere, The Verve A Storm in Heaven

Stand out Tracks: Just as was Told, With Crippled Wings, These are the Days, Into the Storm

Spotify link Lift To Experience – Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads

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