Spacemen 3
The Perfect Prescription


4.5
superb

Review

by BMDrummer USER (51 Reviews)
March 12th, 2017 | 26 replies


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Things were never the same...

Spacemen 3 are a phenomenon. There is no band quite as druggy as Spacemen 3, and I mean that wholeheartedly. Countless bands will sing about the mind-altering effects of every substance you could create in an AP Chem class, but no one did it quite like Spacemen 3. By taking the Suicide ethic of one-chord blues, and conversely using maximalism overtop to simulate the infinite layers of a trip, they developed a sound often imitated, but never replicated. It's difficult to even describe what you're in for when you first hear Spacemen 3; I used to play bits of Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs to every now and then, but never actually had the guts to dive into that ocean of druggy noise. While that early piece of noise is mostly successful in its grime-y and impenetrable filth, the Perfect Prescription succeeds in that it shows the beautiful stages of the different levels of a high. From energetic and hazy highs, to downbeat and drone-y lows, Spacemen 3 perfectly crafted the definitive drug-rock album.

The album kicks off with a band with the energetic and exciting "Take Me to the Other Side." Obviously meant to represent the initial feeling of the first part of a high, the album quickly segues into "Walkin' with Jesus," which represents the seemingly endless ecstasy of the trip. From here, the album constantly goes up and down in a rollercoaster feeling. But, each song acts as a plateau of the phase it might represent. Dynamic shifts are rare, chord changes are exceedingly rare, but the songs differ wildly as the album continues on. Opening with jittery excitement (Take me to the Other Side, Walkin' With Jesus), and slowly diluting to a warm drone of ecstasy (Ecstasy Symphony/Transparent Radiation), then firing into a paranoid fuzz-fest (Things'll Never Be the Same), and then dropping to calm fear of an OD (Call the Doctor), The Perfect Prescription perfectly crafts a drug story like no other.

What's so perfect about Spacemen 3 in general though, is their clashing of minimalism and maximalism. They may base their songs on single chords, but the sheer amount of sound on this album is unlike anything you will ever hear. Take "Feel So Good" for instance, where only a few lines are repeated, and two chords are repeated. But, the song doesn't necessarily feel repetitive; it feels high. The layers of guitars, the layers of horns, the warm organ tones; it all converges to feel like a warm drift through space and time. Similarly, "Things'll Never be the Same" is like a filthy version of the previous song. Based on a stupidly simple riff that lingers underground, while J Spaceman rants about the life he's chosen as an addict, and the layers of wah-guitar and cymbal swells add to the constant intensity of the piece. It's one of the haziest pieces of music you'll ever hear; truly the sound of confusion.

What Spacemen 3 accomplished here is something few bands will ever accomplish in their lifetime. This album definitely stands as one of the most impenetrable and sonically amazing albums I've ever had the pleasure of hearing, regardless of the concept. The concept adds an extra layer of cool, but even if you just listen for the sounds, you're still likely to be blown away by the beautiful grime that they effortlessly crafted on this timeless effort. Things never were the same...



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user ratings (134)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
BMDrummer
March 12th 2017


14205 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this needed a review, hopefully i did this masterpiece justice



wrote this while studying for chem

TheSpaceMan
March 12th 2017


11345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

omg thank you



I legitimately love you with all my heart < 3

TheSpaceMan
March 12th 2017


11345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

guess my soundoff is outdated now!

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
March 12th 2017


17482 Comments


oh my gooooooooooood

Digging: Derek Bailey - Aida

talktothehead
March 12th 2017


2620 Comments


This is such a fucking good album

I randomly discovered it on youtube like 3 years ago and loved it. So peaceful and sad. Really need to revisit.

TVC15
March 12th 2017


9632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I should probably revisit this... Even if it's inferior to Forged Prescription



Sooo epic psychedelic Sensory Deprivation double album when

Digging: Dance With the Dead - B-Sides: Vol. 1

TheSpaceMan
March 12th 2017


11345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Forged Prescription is the tits but this is def not a 2.5



its like this is a bomb ass stake of pancakes w/ syrup and butter and forged prescription adds some whipped cream to it

TheSpaceMan
March 12th 2017


11345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

idk why i decided to offer the worst analogy ever but yeah

BMDrummer
March 12th 2017


14205 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i'm waiting for my copy of that to arrive



glad y'all dig the rev

KILL
March 13th 2017


81175 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice

SharkTooth
March 13th 2017


13848 Comments


I've heard parts of this album but haven't gotten around to hearing this in full

gonna rectify that

theBoneyKing
March 13th 2017


14912 Comments


Great review. I'm surprised this didn't have one before.

Downloaded this earlier today, gonna try it soon. I've loved Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space for a while now so I thought I'd try this before digging into the rest of Spiritualized's material.

Digging: Deafheaven - Sunbather

TheSpaceMan
April 21st 2017


11345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"We would seriously like to ask fans not to buy the Spacemen 3 releases and any merchandise that are being offered for sale on Record Store Day or any of the other Spacemen 3 releases and merchandise offered by Gerald Palmer on Space Age Recordings or any other subsidiary of that label.

We are currently in legal dispute with Gerald Palmer due to him depriving us of our rights in our music and other intellectual property rights relating to Spacemen 3. Any monies from those sales will go directly to him and help fund his side of the dispute.

In short... PLEASE DON'T BUY OUR RECORDS FROM SPACE AGE RECORDINGS!

Thanks for listening

J Spaceman and Sonic Boom together t/a Spacemen 3"

TheSpaceMan
April 21st 2017


11345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

dunno how legit it is but its weird to

1. see gods plead to mortals

2. see those two names on the same side of an argument

BMDrummer
August 5th 2017


14205 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

my dog is afraid of this

TVC15
August 5th 2017


9632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As it should

TheSpaceMan
August 5th 2017


11345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Dat 3 burns my eyes idc what u rated forged

TVC15
August 5th 2017


9632 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Kinda forgot to re-rate tbh

StallionMang
November 7th 2017


8624 Comments


somehow i got this band confused w galaxie 500 and was disappointed when galaxie 500 didnt exactly do wild psych-noise jams lmao

Digging: Sd Laika - That's Harakiri

TheSpaceMan
November 7th 2017


11345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

haha nice, both bands are great but these guys were the real deal



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