CENSUS OF HALLUCINATIONS - Nine Lives (Stone Premonitions)

Census Of Hallucinations latest release opens with an intriguing amalgamation of Fleetwood Mac's 'Green Manalishi' welded onto their 'Oh Well', and while it is certainly an interesting concept I think that they are two songs which are best heard in their original incarnation. For their first self-penned track 'Mock Honesty' the band produce a catchy song with an infectious guitar riff, and things start to look up. They do like their spacey instrumentals, though, and probably half the 71 minutes of the album is taken up with them, and while tracks like 'Integration' and 'The Mental Minstrels' certainly have a groove to them I generally feel that they end up going nowhere in particular and a more structured song would have been more preferable. Of course, when they do deliver a song it might end up like 'In An Old Folk's Home', which might have seemed a good idea at the time, but I don't think having the lyric echoed in a shakey old man's voice really works, and distracts from what is obviously a heart-felt piece. 'One Day At A Time' is much better, and more like this would make for a more rounded album. I always tend to find that Census Of Hallucinations are a band of two halves, and if they just cut down on the spacey instrumentals and concentrated on the songs they could come up with an outstanding album.