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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Intriguing Sonic Onslaught From Medicine at English Acid

March 27, 1993|KATHERINE TURMAN

It was after 2 a.m. Thursday morning when the last, loud, sustained notes of Medicine's guitar feedback faded away, but the crowd at English Acid was still eager for more from the hypnotic quintet.

The L.A. group is boldly experimental, utilizing effects-laden, droning guitar, near-deafening repetition and Beth Thompson's pure, almost Joni Mitchell-like vocals on top of the layered, noisy, wall of sound.

That's not to say there weren't moments of subtlety and clarity, but Thompson's understated approach and mellow gyrations had a difficult time competing with the sheer onslaught of her bandmates.

Still, Medicine is about the vibe, and despite the volume the band projects a mellow, psychedelic intensity. Whether seeking musical nirvana via a single note hammered over and over or swaying to the pop feel and '60s influence of "Five," Medicine demanded attention.

As on its debut album, "Shot Forth Self Living," Medicine was unclassifiable and intriguing during Wednesday's hourlong set. Though the 10 songs were sometimes too long and too similar, this new group proved it's capable of creating potent, original music.

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