New Moon


Oslo's SUPERLYNX is a doomy psych band that plays a more thoughtful, melancholy version of what you […]
By Sean McGuirk
April 4, 2019
Superlynx - New Moon album cover

Oslo's SUPERLYNX is a doomy psych band that plays a more thoughtful, melancholy version of what you may expect from a genre that tends to go off the rails on weed-love fantasies and surrealist nightmares.  That's, in no small part, thanks to the soothing vocals of Pia Isaksen, who floats like a siren's spectre over the wave-beaten rocks, attracting sea-worthy psychonauts tired of the same-old SABBATH worship.  Indeed, there's some subversion here, as the trio's debut, "LVX," a slightly more traditional stoner play with some frayed edges, has become a distant shadow in the wake of "New Moon," a sort of cosmic blues album for the weak and the weary, one that channels the dark and the light in equal measures.

This is not an album that hits hard, either in its production or its melodic approach.  Instead, each track sizzles in the sun before being blanketed by a starry nightfall, and back again.  The cumulative effect is a feeling of eternal return, like being caught in a winding M.C. Escher staircase with Isaksen calling you toward a non-existent exit.

Part warning and part instruction manual, the opener "Hex" begins with a snake-charming melody and tribal drumming, a voice calls: "to rise from the ashes, replace hate with love."  "Breath" tells us to hold our breath before being pulled under.  "Becoming the Sea" starts with an atmospheric acoustic piano, putting us, for a brief moment, in a set time and place - one that could be indicative of the black and white photo on the cover - before the song blasts off into time unknown with a subtle synth and a cosmic tumult of dissonant chords.  The lesson is to be free by giving yourself to the sea, only then can you resurface and face the "New Moon" ("dark skies before a new beginning").  The title track has some excellent clean guitar tones from Daniel Bakken that give great texture.  "Indian Summer" then combines with "These Children That Come At Us With Knives" to feel like the dawning of a new day, or the soundtrack to an odd springtime ritual on the Scottish island of Summerisle.

There's a brief touch of harmony in the vocals here that I wish could've been utilized more.  Isaksen seems content to stay on the same two or three notes for entire stretches of time.  It can be effective, like on "Cold Black Sea," to conjure that infinitely brief stage experienced before falling asleep, but it's overuse can feel monotonous.  This changes up on "The Groove" when drummer and backup vocalist Ole Teigen takes on a verse or two.

While not doom in the traditional sense, there are shades of standard devil's triad melodies, which make up the least interesting parts of the album.  Most of it has been replaced by psychedelic blues and  90's grunge sensibilities, like on the up-tempo "Scarecrow," that range in intensity from the most sedated moments on SOUNDGARDEN's "Superunknown" record to heavy "Them Bones"-style Cantrell-ian riffs.

The title "New Moon" reflects that feeling of rebirth after complete darkness, with the finale,"The Thickest Night," taking us back into the night: "Like a flower unfolds under the sun, the mind receives the knowledge of death."  Our journey has ended, only for another round to begin. The album succeeds on taking the listener through this journey, with heartfelt lyrics and well-placed atmospherics. It's a work of real emotion that hearkens back to the 1960's, not in any kind of imitative way, but in the true spirit of psychedelic music of that era.  Drugs are welcome, but certainly not required.

8 / 10









When clicked, this video is loaded from YouTube servers. See our privacy policy for details.
"New Moon" Track-listing:

1. Hex
2. Breath
3. Becoming the Sea
4. New Moon
5. Indian Summer
6. These Children that come at us with Knives
7. Scarecrow
8. Cold Black Sea
9. The Groove
10. The thickest Night

Superlynx Lineup:

Pia Isaksen - Bass, Vocals
Daniel Bakken - Guitar
Ole Teigen - Drums, Vocals

linkcrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram