Ozric Tentacles - Spice Doubt Streaming. 1998 England
CD reissue: 2003 Snapper
If you are seeking out the high octane variation of Ozric Tentacles, then look no further than Spice Doubt Streaming. This album completely eschews their reggae and new age electronic characteristics, and focuses strictly on their ability to set your stereo in flames. Which is my favorite aspect of the band. The first good clue is that the album opens with two of their most incendiary tracks - both the opening salvo on their respective albums (Become the Other, Erpland). 'Eternal Wheel' remains my personal favorite track by Ozric, and it's probably the only song on here that isn't quite up to the task of the studio version. The others I feel surpass their studio equivalents. And these aren't the only openers they chose. Perhaps best of all is 'Dissolution' (from Pungent Effulgent), which is absolutely lethal here. Elsewhere they have two of their most intense electronic pieces in 'Sploosh!' (Strangeitude) and 'Oddentity' (Curious Corn). If that isn't enough they throw in two mid album barn burners with 'Papyrus' and 'Myriapod'. Only to be bested by two new compositions 'Citadel Jam' and 'Spice Doubt', the latter renamed and rerecorded as 'Space Out' on Swirly Termination. All that's missing is 'Kick Muck'! But that track had already been well represented on prior live outings. All of these were their live debut on CD at the time.
What a smoker. This is probably my favorite Ozric Tentacles album, only in that it filters what I like best by them. And I have to say, I enjoy all of their albums! So there you have it.
For some reason, I did not buy this when it first came out. I can recall having an opportunity to buy it at Tower Records in the SF Bay Area not long after release. I think I was suffering from Ozricitis at the time and passed. Apparently the unique oil based packaging of the private release is now a mess (first scan), so it's a good thing I did pass. A few years later I bought the Snapper reissue in a traditional tri-fold digipak (second scan).