Claiming to be a band from Seattle is like claiming to be an actor in Los Angeles. It no longer carries the glitz, glam, and dreaminess it may have in years past because, let’s face it, everybody wanted the same thing at some point and the pool is so diluted with like-minded individuals it is isn’t enough to simply be that in that city.
Seattle’s Museum of Light is looking to distance themselves from the oversaturated pool of Seattle musicians in nine symbiotic journeys into the eviscerating ambiance that has become modern sonic-psych rock. However, to toss this into the bin of dark, brooding rock is a massive misjustice to Museum of Light and their debut record Horizon.
Seemingly climbing from the smoldering ashes of Pacific Northwest trails blazed by (Cornell, Thayil, Cameron, et al.) comes a sound that is possibly one of the most noteworthy associations to that legendary rock we’ve heard in a long time. Where Museum of Light shines (do with that pun what you will) is in their refusal to emulate and demonstration of pushing their own direction. Associations to vocalist/guitarist Ted Alvarez’s presence will be made, but the way he exists in the spaces crafted with Rob Smith (drums, vocals) and Ezekiel Rudick (bass) separate the trio almost instantly.
Horizon is nine tracks spanning just over three minutes to almost seven each, which are intended to be heard as the whole. When sitting down with the record we’re met with an existence that is greater than its individual parts. It is a journey into a realm of heavy psych rock that drifts on distorted downstrokes, sparse lingering vocals living under a weighty veil of darkness, and an awareness of who they are in a world overflowing with bands attempting the same. Horizon gnaws at the silence with purpose and complexity that showcases a band that knows damn well what they’re doing. At the outset you don’t feel exhausted, but ready to have another go. As a whole, Alvarez, Rudick, and Smith captivate in a raw, grinding meditative journey into a sound that plays no games with the influences, yet draws from a deep well of inspiration. Museum of Light feels, intensely, like this is where Seattle rock needs to be right now. Horizon is out June 10, 2022 on Spartan Records.