Gee, I wonder what that perfect prescription could be...
Matthew T. Medlock | Cincinnati, OH | 09/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"That an album could contain both the elegant, droning psychedelia of "Walkin' With Jesus" and the aggressive and vitriolic grind of "Things'll Never Be the Same" is a testament to the force and range of Spacemen 3. Starts out frenetic with "Take Me to the Other Side" (which contains a piece of a riff lifted from AC/DC of all bands!) before settling into an extended hypnotic and dreamy phase propelled by "Transparent Radiation" and the "Jesus" track, as well as a few others. Then the mood is flipped over, going from on-the-back relaxing to on-the-belly punishment as "Things'll Never Be the Same" turns sinister and violent. What once was the sound of acid becomes the noise of heroin (quite literally, as "Things" makes intentionally unsubtle references to spiking).
The whole thing is clearly influenced by 60s pop and the drug culture of the very same era. "Come Down Easy" especially sounds like a cover from the time (if not for the lyrics containing the year of 1987). Most fans consider this their masterpiece (but Playing With Fire, being both artier and heavier, is the superior effort). Although they clearly owe a tremendous debt to Velvet Underground (fans of them should love this), they were already starting to craft their own personal sound. Later reissues would add various singles from the era, which are good, but best separated from the album as only singles.
Best cuts: "Walkin' With Jesus," "Come Down Easy," "Things'll Never Be the Same," "Ecstasy Symphony/Transparent Radiation (Flashback)," "Take Me to the Other Side," "Feel So Good""
Minimalistic drone rock genre at its peak
S. Khan | USA | 01/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To put it quickly, this album features cool hypnotic melodies & soft spoken lyrics.
Songs are simple and repetitive in meditational kind of way. Each song apparently uses few chords, but I hear more stuff than there really is (is that just me?).
Highlights include 'take me to the other side,' 'transparent radiation,' and 'feel so good.' 'Call the doctor' features their best guitar work. There are 13 tracks, 5 are purely instrumental, 8 have lyrics."
A seminal album ruined by poor re-pressing
Patrick Over | Australia | 06/16/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Perfect Prescription was the soundtrack for my late adolescents. My original vinyl copy of the album is well worn and I regularly listen to it on CD too.
I was excited, therefore, to see the re-release especially on 180 gram vinyl with the implications being that it would be of great audio quality. Unfortunately the release, or at least my copy of it, is a very poor quality pressing. The pressing mutes the extremes of the original so sounds are murky and congealed. Worse still the drone quality of Spacemen 3 with this production loses its nuances and becomes clumsy and repetitive. Most disappointing. Also little thought has gone into the packaging for the album. The card of the sleeve is great quality but the inner sleeve is generic white. There is a one page insert with some naff hyperbole by R Hunter Gibson on one side and a good shot of the band on the other. Hardly stuff to excite collectors or new explorers.
I strongly recommend the album but not in this format. For those who have not heard it before, it proceeds on the narrative arc of using heroin with songs of bliss and euphoria and others of the grind and grimness of addiction. It has a brutal honesty and a residual menace."