White Manna – “Dune Worship” – [Holy Mountain]
“Where the hell is Arcata, California?”, I thought when I read reviews that kept saying the group “White Manna” came from there. After finding it on a map it all made sense. I’d been to Arcata, the nicer town next to Eureka, Humboldt State’s town, the town where I stopped once for a coffee, and a woman in a peasant skirt tried to convince me to move there because there was a teaching position opening up and that my partner could make good extra money with the “alternative seasonal business opportunities” that were available. It’s the town that smells overwhelmingly like a skunk.
Which leads to White Manna and their sophomore outing “Dune Worship” on Holy Mountain. It makes sense that an album like this comes from Arcata. This is 21st Century space rock/psychedelic rock. And it blazes. The Weatherman, the notorious spokesperson for Negativeland, read a long treatise at a recent show basically stating that nothing new is being done in music. It’s ALL been done so just forget it. Well, sure, on one hand he’s right and listening to “Dune Worship” might make you think that. But wait. So what! The nice thing about this album is that the quartet know their references and use their instruments to take the listener on further journeys of mind opening experience. These are longish jams that build to ultimate catharsis. It’s a tried and true formula but the songs on this cd are not formulaic. White Manna are doing something here, twisting the twisty curly guitar jam thing into something their own, something new. It does not sound 1960’s or 1970”s. This is stoner/space/psych rock for the new age. And the titles give it a sense of a quasi-spiritual journey…. and why not. There are many ways to get to the end. So light up, take a puff and start worshipping the dune.