All Sensory Void: Relax Man…You’re Actually Just Energy Condensed to a Slow Vibration

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I must say that All Sensory Void‘s self-description (“if J. Mascis and Elliott Smith had a love child…”) piqued my interest enough to give his debut EP a listen. The promise of a combination of Elliott Smith’s captivating reflection with the grunge guitar of Dinosaur Jr. would put an immense amount of pressure on anybody, especially from those of us who already love those ‘90s giants.

Surprisingly enough, Eric Goldberg, the solo force behind All Sensory Void, has the substance to support that declaration — for the most part. Goldberg plays every instrument himself, assuring us listeners that the melding of sounds is complete. His garage guitars take prominence on Relax Man…You’re Actually Just Energy Condensed to a Slow Vibration, backed up by some confirming bass and clattering drums. There’s even some unexpected psychedelia found on the record, reminiscent of the charisma from Elliott Smith’s last few albums. Certainly, it’s during the songs in which Goldberg channels Elliott Smith that the album is most absorbing. The contemplative opener “All Sensory…” offers “Salvation/It washes over me,” and the apathetic “My Euphony” could be a lost track off of XO or Either/Or.

I’d be lying if I were to say that All Sensory Void nailed his mission statement completely. On songs like “Too Little, Too Late” or “Missing The Carriage,” Goldberg tends to sound more emo/punk than I anticipated. Although this isn’t necessarily a poor quality, it does detract from the kaleidoscopic distortion that magnetizes the rest of the record. Still, Relax Man…You’re Actually Just Energy Condensed to a Slow Vibration is a great record to sink into, reverent of its influences.