Photon Band Back Down To Earth

Listening to an album by the Photon Band has always been both exciting and nerve-wracking. That was because Art Di Furia’s psychedelic vision was a little on the scattershot side and their back catalogue is filled with records that never decided what they wanted to do. It did make for interesting times, but he always seemed capable of something more complete. He’s done just that with Back Down To Earth, their first album in almost five years. It’s the band’s most accessible record by a long, long way, something that will delight and disappoint in equal measure. Even the inevitable instrumental workouts seem more focussed and restrained, and by the time the CD stops spinning after a succinct 34 minutes, some might be longing for a hidden track that covers the same ground as Alone On The Moon. From the woozy laidback title track to the Hendrix-like "Thinkin’ Boutchoo,” it looks like Back Down To Earth might mark the start of a new period for the band. While it isn’t a huge departure for them, it could very well be one that finally brings them a wider and more appreciative audience. (Empyrean)