Lords Of Acid ‎– Expand Your Head


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September 3, 2018
edited 8 months ago
referencing Expand Your Head, CD, NR6047-2, NR6047

Ah, this compilation caused quite the controversy when it was first released. Many (myself included), were expecting the follow up to 1997's ''Our Little Secret'' but bam! We're given yet another compilation to enjoy until the Lords would hit the studios the next year. I'm an avid fan of remixes and I'm always down to hear new versions, so this was not a loss for me, at least completely. This compilation was trashed (quite unfairly) by many fans when it was originally released, mostly because the material was far away from their signature sound and style. I thought I would give my 2 cents on this record, almost 20 years after its release.

First, I must start by saying that I LOVE that damn cover. Amanda Lepore on her early days, with red hair and latex clothing it's quite an spectacle. Plus, by just looking at the cover alone, we know we're in for some treats. Also, if you own the album, you know that it looks pretty attractive on your shelf!

The CD kicks off with ''Am I Sexy...?'', a nice and light 60's-inspired piece. I don't know if that's just me, but there's no way on earth to listen to this song without wanting to dance, Vincent Vega style. I do have to admit, however, that it sounds a little odd amongst the house, industrial beats provided by the rest of the tracks, almost like a Fantastic Plastic Machine song that was mistakenly added on a MLWTTKK album. Nonetheless, it's a fun way to start the party.

Then comes KMFMD's take on ''Lover''. As if the original wasn't hard enough, this one comes with extra punches and stomping beats, a more in-your-face approach. This is definitely one of the compilation's best offerings; it does not take away the feel of the source material, it actually amps it up, that's what a remix should really be.

We have now ''Rough Sex'', given a spin by the late Jeff Newell, known mostly as Critter. If it wasn't for the vocals, you would think this one's a new song. It sounds NOTHING like the original, and that's great! A song to put you on the mood, with the bumping, grinding, heat and sweat of a late-night club. Another of the compilation's best tracks, and it's good to see it was included on the recent ''Lust'' re-issue, it does deserve some love.

It's now Luc Van Acker's turn, with ''The Crablouse''. I don't see this one as a remix, mostly a reimagining (as it keeps the original's structure). This one had already been included on the re-issue of ''Voodoo-U'', so it's nothing new. Knowing that Crab it's one of LOA's most well known songs, a better remix could've been included, but hey, that's just me.

''As I Am'', one of the compilation's 4 previously unreleased songs (the first one being ''Am I Sexy...?). While the lyrics are very direct, talking about a vixen that's better to look from afar, the beats are actually quite laid-back, not as rough as one would expect. The song is quite fun and it makes you think, what if they had pursued this direction for ''Farstucker'' instead? We'll never know, it seems.

Up next is ''Who Do You Think You Are?''. Of all the songs, this is the one that sounds the most dated; the instrumental is very reminiscent of that specific period in time, and the rapping, well...

We then go to ''I Sit On Acid'', through Carl S. Johansen's POV. It's not that bad, but it's pretty forgettable. A more hard trance approach, sounds good at the start but becomes tedious after a while.

And now, the travesty of this entire CD. I'm a sucker for Chris Vrenna, however, his take on ''Pussy'' is criminal. I know remixes should not always be housey-trancey versions and it's good to experiment every once in a while, but this is unforgivable. The '98 maxi single had way better mixes that should've been included instead (''Box Banger'' and ''We Want Some'', FTW!), but then again, that's just me. The compilation really looses itself at track #8, sadly.

''Let's Get High'' gets all reggaey, courtesy of Rob Swift. Another remix that sounds nothing like the original, it's pretty refreshing and quite relaxing, if you will. Very 4:20, a win on my book.

One of the album's gems is what Tipsy did to ''Spank My Booty''. Yet another remix that sounds like an stand-alone composition, it's very hypnotic and evocative of 60's peep shows, all I can think of is a trippy Betty Boop montage, with some edibles at hand for a better experience.

Jamie Myerson now presents us his take on ''Rubber Doll'', a more sinister, drum-n-bassy version. Not entirely bad, but not a highlight either.

Even if the title suggests otherwise, this is something you SHOULDN'T listen to while on a trip; I had such an anxiety attack. That's ''Marijuana In Your Brain'', remixed by Robbie Hardkiss. After all this time, I'm still having a hard time trying to find a genre to place this song in. A good remix, but not for the occassional listen(er).

Here we have some ''Rough Sex'' again, provided by the one and only Joey Beltram. This remix was previously released on the maxi single and it's one of LOA's most well known tracks in their remix catalogue.

''I Sit On Acid'' comes for a second round, this time by God Lives Underwater. This one it's kind of meh, but catchy nonetheless!

This is my favorite part of this entire CD, the one that makes this entire oddyssey worth it. Although previously released on the maxi single and now included on the re-issue of ''Our Little Secret'', Frankie Bones' take on ''Rubber Doll'' never gets old! House at its finest, this is that one track at the club that ''te truena la tacha'' (you hispanic folks will get me). I could listen to this thing for hours and hours and never grow tired of it (I've done it several times). After the capital mess of track #8, things get back on track here for the grand finale.

It's quite baffling that this track appears so later on the compilation. ''I Must Increase My Bust'' receives some techno, hard-trance treatment by Richie Hawtin. Pretty fun and upbeat, this one gets you just in the right mood.

The opportunity of closing this whole affair is given to ''Lady Marmalade'', LOA's take on the classic. While far from a masterpiece, I personally think it's better than the Moulin Rouge version (if you ask, the All Saints cover is the best of the bunch).

And that's it, ''Expand Your Head'' is over. Released in 1999, it was meant to take Lords Of Acid to newer grounds and therefore, a bigger fanbase. While not a must-have, it's a fun compilation that, as most of their material, should not be taken that serious.

Here's hoping for a vinyl re-release!