Toshack Highway vs. Sianspheric Magnetic Morning / Aspirin Age

When pot-induced paranoia (or bliss) would grip me in high school, I would imagine what a life-long high might be like. Theoretically, for each clever thing I’d say in this "high life,” there would be at least ten moronic slips; I’d be a bit more forgiving, but I’d also be stuck in the same grinding, apathetic head-space. Plus, I would be very hungry — all of the time. Listening to this two-CD, joint release (pun intended) from Toshack Highway and Sianspheric vicariously lifted me back into this odd wonderland. From the alliterated album titles, to the muddled symbolism on the cover, you can’t help but think two drug-lovin’ pals dreamt up this project while under the influence, which isn’t to say that it’s a bad idea, just a sort of dozy slab of songs — the kind that should appeal to the average headphone-toting, tar-lunged astro-rock fan. Toshack Highway (fronted by Swervedriver’s Adam Franklin) drops acoustic axe over snail-paced ambient murmurs, with quite pretty, albeit familiar, results on "Cannery Row” and "Country Grass,” while the Canucks in Sianspheric keep it cosmic on Aspirin Age, a moody melange of well-structured tunes lingering under a background of fuzz and drone. (Sonic Unyon)