Hoosiers From the Heartland Pay Homage to Hipster Heroes


Proclaiming emancipation from fascist insects, Five Pillars of Soul by John Wilkes Booze compiles and condenses the Hoosier sextet’s multi-EP 2002 quest for chutzpah preservation, offered now in one easy-to-sweat installment. A chapbook-sized bonus is the 8,000-word-plus manifesto that riffs lovingly on each pillar, at one point explaining samsara via the snowless grass around Albert Ayler’s Ohio grave. Despite the flashy concept, the real meat is a baker’s dozen tracks eulogizing a badass Dream Team of Ayler, Melvin Van Peebles, Tania Hearst, Marc Bolan, and Yoko Ono (who plays center or at least power forward in JWB’s cosmology). Vocalist Seth Mahern’s Alice Donut–dunkin’ Tiny Tim falsetto scorches when surrounded by r&b garage-rock gospel choirs; he’s also persuasive balancing dorky spoken words, bubbling white guilt, and shape-shifting Mirian Zazeela drones that allow his freedom fighters an opportunity to loosen the reins and just cold chill (as on non–Mission of Burma–remake “Academy Fight Song,” a ghostly plea for psychedelic nookie). Fugs and Zombies covers act as place settings, as do Bloomington local flavors, a bleating sax, and a hippified hoedown. But lucky song number five—”Marc Bolan Makes Me Want to Fuck, Part II” ‘s combo of humid piano, revolutionary whispers, molasses geetar, and good ol’ Timothy Leary—taps the pleasure dome best.