Space Team Electra

Many bands that spend years teetering on the brink of fame get more conservative with age. So it's refreshing to discover that the latest recording from Space Team Electra, a group that's been threatening to graduate from Denver since the mid-'90s, is its wildest and least inhibited to date.

An example? Consider "Mars," which ripens into a full-scale psychedelic freakout complete with this bit of fairy-tale wisdom from lead singer Myshel Prasad: "I know why you've come to me, Prince Charming, my assassin/But I'm not the damsel in distress/I'm the fucking dragon." Cuts such as "The Marriage," with its ringing, swirling tones, and "In Ribbons" spotlight the idiosyncratic instrumental interplay of Team-mates Bill Kunkel, Kit Peltzel and Greg Fowkes; their sound is captured beautifully by veteran producer Sandy Pearlman. As always, though, Prasad is the show's star, whether she's singing about the relationship between God and Satan during "Original Sin #666" or "walking in fields of crucifixion" throughout the elegiac "Pelican."

Artistic journeys like these may prove too challenging for large numbers of Americans to embrace, but it's their loss. Because they're missing a helluva trip.

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