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White Hills White Hills

White Hills' last album, Heads on Fire, flared and throbbed in the peak-era Hawkwind/Comets on Fire vein of robust space rock that appeals both to stoners and acid acolytes. However, the New York-based group considers this self-titled album, its fourth overall, to be a new phase in its evolution. "Dead," though, starts the disc with more of that roiling, majestic rock—no real departure, even with Oneida's Kid Millions playing drums. "Counting Sevens" is more airy and expansive, a looser foray into the stratosphere, with Dave W.'s distant-sounding guitars and Ego Sensation's head-bobbing bass line leading the charge. But about halfway in, White Hills really blisses and spaces out, peaking with the Köner-esque isolationist ambience of "Glacial" and "We Will Rise," an homage to Bardo Pond's glassy-eyed, tolling drone epic "Amen 29:15." White Hills have struck a riveting balance between heaviness and ethereality while proving space rock can still stimulate four decades after its Big Bang.

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