Album Review: LSD and The Search For God - Heaven is A Place

I first became aware of the enigmatic shoegaze outfit LSD And The Search For God because Jennifer Dixon, the guitarist/vocalist for Brief Candles occasionally wears their t-shirt when she perform live. And back when I was really into shoegaze as a genre, in 2011 and 2012, I purchased LSD’s first (and at the time only) release, a self-titled EP, from the label that put it out in 2006, Deep Space Recordings.

To give a small example of how much has changed since 2006, the band advertised a MySpace page as a means to learn more about them on the back of the EP’s sleeve.

There were rumblings about the follow up to that self-titled effort for a number of years now, beginning in 2012, with news that the group was releasing an LP, and it would be out via Mind Expansion Records.

As it turned out, that never happened. And the following year, I actually had the chance to see the band live at a shoegaze/noise/psychedelic music festival over the Fourth of July weekend in Minneapolis, but, because anxiety, opted not to go.

I kind of assumed that the band would never release a follow up and that they would just continue a slow descent into obscurity, and truth be told, my interest in shoegaze as a genre has certainly waned within recent years.1

But now here we are, a momentous occasion arriving a decade later, and via the same label, the band has returned with another five song EP, Heaven is A Place.

And while we use different social networks now as means of communication and promotion, the shift away from MySpace is not the only thing that has changed for the band.

You notice something different right from the get go with Heaven is A Place—the brightly colored album cover is a dead giveaway, and a sharp juxtaposition with the black and orange aesthetic of its self-titled predecessor.

But an artist direction is not the only thing that has changed with LSD And The Search For God.

The last decade has found the band growing outside of the confines of the dream pop and shoegaze labels, and exploring the noisier and more aggressive aspects of those genres by blending in a psychedelic edge while still, somehow, being able to maintain pop sensibilities.

There was a shy, timid quality to the band on its debut, but that is long since gone on Heaven is A Place, and it’s very apparent from the opening track, “Heaven,” which is powered by distended, crunchy guitar chords and distorted, yet strong vocals.

Because shoegaze, the vocal tracks are buried deep within the mix still, giving them a far away feeling—but there’s a newfound confidence in their delivery. There’s also a confidence in the band’s songwriting abilities—most apparent on one of the EP’s strongest, and poppiest tracks, “(I Don’t Think We Should) Take it Slow.”

Later, there’s the psychedelic-Britpop snarl (think early-Verve) of “Outer Space.”

Don’t let all of this fool you—the band hasn’t forgotten its roots, and it saves the best for last in the form of the lengthy, swooning “Without You,” a song that combines its earlier shoegaze leaning sounds with its newfound, noisy convictions.

Heaven is A Place is a varied, yet cohesive record, showing a band that has done its fair share of growing up over the last ten years. It’s not an immediate listen—maybe due to the slight uneven quality of its opening track. However, the rest of the EP, as a whole, burns very slowly. It’s the kind of noisy warmth that you can ease into, letting it encompass you almost completely as you listen.

Heaven is A Place is out on January 15th via Deep Space Recordings. 

1- that may have to do with seeing My Bloody Valentine in concert (they were not that good, in retrospect) or also the fact that there is very little happening within the genre that I find interesting.