Release Date: May 14, 2012
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Plankton Wat's 2012 effort on Thrill Jockey comes after a slew of releases on smaller labels, a now well-established path for performers releasing a stream of efforts on cassettes and CD-Rs and the like -- and given that Dewey Mahood has also been working in a number of other guises and projects, it's even more of a complicated background than might be thought. But Spirits has the advantage of sounding like an enjoyable guitar-based drone-and-zone effort in its own right regardless of everything else Mahood has already done, not least of which is due to a certain bright tone throughout the album. It's almost as if a spirit that was evident in the fragmenting years of Spacemen 3 -- as Sonic Boom and Jason Pierce turned individually from rock overload to a glistening ecstasy -- comes into its own right here, showing that modern psychedelia can exist in a spot that's not simply feedback burnout.
Plankton Wat, the project of Eternal Tapestry guitarist Dewey Mahood, is the sound of sanctuary. Mahood is joined on Spirits by two other humans: Edibles' Dusty Dybvig, who sneaks a bit of hand drum onto Spirits' title track, and Mahood's young daughter, Harper, on the shaker. A sense of retreat echoes throughout Spirits, but it's not the lonesome kind; rather, Spirits feels like the kind of patient, deliberate work you know you have to get away from everything to get right.
Plankton Wat’s second full length album Spirits is a strange concoction of sonic sensations that somehow tell of the Pacific Northwest (or really just Oregon), ranging from Cape Meares to some sort of fashion trend filtering through a vintage/antique clothing store in Portland. Fronting influences in psychedelic rock, folk, ghostly visitations and free jazz, this experimental album is a reincarnation of sound leaving its listeners praying for metamorphosis. Plankton Wat is the alias of solo musician Dewey Mahood of Portland, OR.