Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound Engineering by Patrick Stolley and Brad Kopplin
What's the landscape like during a coma? What does the air feel and taste like? How's the light in there? What comes out of that state of relative inactivity? What are the dreams like? Here you are unresponsive, no one can wake your ass up, you can't hear anything, you don't know what pain is and things couldn't be set up any better as an incubator for the sickest, mind-bending hallucinations. The first words out of your mouth, if you ever came to again, should be, "You'll never guess where I was," in between the greatest, extended yawn of your life. Back you were from a dawn, a dusk and all the in between at a cubist castle, getting looks at everything in disjointed parsings - wished the best of luck putting them all together and deciphering the creatures and the aftertaste.
Andy Herod and his Comas have assembled a sampling of where a head might be floating inside this state of being out to lunch for an indeterminable amount of time with new album Spells, whose name isn't at all fraudulent or misleading (a lyric from album opener "Red Microphones" goes, "Call down the knights from ghostly towers/Puff on the yore of dragonfire."). There's witchcraft, warlockery and sorcery (along with heavily distorted guitar riffs and power) going down in these songs that come in different degrees of hot, hot heat and mesmerizing lyrics, which at times are so abstract that they're likely deeply personal.
There's blame being heaped on some kind of citrus liqueur and enchanted trees of the Catskills for the imagery and provocative proceedings of this album, which shifts from fevers to cures and sanity to something even better in 10 different heartbeats. It's likely just Herod's science fiction bent that leads the material into realms of fantasy spliced with reality spliced with a twin tower of gentleness, provided by the vocals of Nicole Gehweiler, which are the contrast, perhaps a beacon amongst the symbolism - the white light poking through pulled tight drapes, shaking the spirograph out of the eyes and clapping you awake and back to the color of the living.