IT’S the only song I can remember exactly where I was when I heard it. A schoolboy sitting in a van, wearily waiting after a day’s sole/soul destroying street pounding for pocket money, I was impatient for home.
Then, over a crackling radio, John Peel played Spacemen 3’s Hypnotized and I swear the car shimmered and I discovered what music could be.
There are those who say they remember exactly where they were when Elvis died, I remember where I was when Jason Spaceman took me to another planet. If there is another song title so apt, I have yet to find it.
That was 1989 and this song was six minutes of modernist psychedelia that lifted the veil from my eyes and the cloth from my ears.
They were a sort of sugar-coated Velvet Underground to The Stone Roses’ Beatles in that so-called second summer of love, but don’t be mistaken, they were resolutely modern; like nothing you’d heard before.
The 2012 installment, Sweet Heart, Sweet Light, follows years of illness and a full recovery prompts an upbeat affair. Worry not, they still sound like nobody else, still drenching delicious melody and a classic rock vocal in reverb and oceans of noise.
There follows plenty from the new album. Too Late is full of that rock terminology – “don’t play with fire and you’ll never get burned” – and it’s notable how we’re not being drowned in sound, there is fine musicianship on display.
Dream rock, space rock, garage rock, psychedelic rock, call it what you will, this is music with origins in spirituality and substance abuse and I wouldn’t even bother trying to categorise it.
Whatever, they can still hypnotise my soul.