The Grail Dynasty has a new Poet Laureate, Michael Quercio, of Jupiter Affect. To give you an idea of where theyíre coming from, the cover of their new album, Instructions for the Two Ways of Becoming Alice, features a young blonde woman with the official device of the Prieure de Sion tattooed on her arm, and Enochian sigils written on her face. The back cover contains two alchemical illustrations that could have been ripped straight from the manuscripts of Nicholas Flamel. Remove the CD from the case and you are hit in the face with a big fat Templar cross. In the liner notes the CD is dedicated to, among others, "Suzanne de Lorraine-Becker, Mona Lisa... Pope John XXIII (Good Shepherd John, a suspected member of the Prieure de Sion who some believe was murdered by Opus Dei)... the Compagnie du Saint-Sacrament, Order of the Rose-Cross... Jean Cocteau..." Even more amazing than the packaging is the music itself, Classic college/indie rock (they could easily parallel park beside The Dead Milkmen and Camper Van Beethoven) but without the raucous guitar distortion and poor production quality characteristic of that genre. Every song on this album is so groovy and cool, so catchy and unique, Iím surprised they havenít been swooped up by Geffen or Warner Bros and arenít currently being featured on an MTV Buzz Clip. Perhaps itís a Vatican conspiracy, another phase in their never-ending campaign against the Grail. Perhaps they donít want their glassy-eyed minions to be awoken from their trance by the "trigger words" embedded in "Goodbye Arthur (Le Morte de Arthur)Ē, which describes the mythical sun kingís descent into the Underworld, a metaphor for the passage of the sun out through the seasons, in which it dies in the winter and is resurrected again in the Spring. "Arthur knows that his time is short", say the lyrics, "For Winterís coming soon. Had to say that he wants to leave by Autumnís waning moon. Goodbye Arthur, Goodbye. You are the reason why I cry." Or maybe theyíre afraid of the powerful, self-affirming message of "Inside (Isis Rising)", the chorus of which proclaims, "Itís an Indian summer today, with the Universe looking our way. And the love that you seek is the love youíll find, when the truth that you needís from inside." Or maybe itís the hidden alchemical references in Track #8, "The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosencreutz", which starts with a quotation from said text and then launches into a vitriolic rock anthem fit for Casey Kasemís Top 40, with a guitar riff in the middle that sounds exactly like Bobby Beausoleilís soundtrack to Lucifer Rising (it could be a tribute.) Then again maybe the Vatican is afraid of the suppressed Biblical history thatís exposed in "Michael and Mary", a very slow, Paul McCartney-ish ballad about when "Mary went away" and "Michael rode ashore", doubtless a reference to what happened to the Christ family after the crucifixion. Or maybe itís not that at all. Maybe itís just the rollicking capriciousness of "White Knuckle SoundĒ, which advises listeners on how to murder their bosses and get away with it, or perhaps the George Thorogood-like "Good Time", or the care-free disposition of "Ice Cream Lolly", or the hep lean copped by "Druscilla I Dig Your Scene." Or maybe itís the un-PC message of "We Donít Believe You,Ē, in which the singer snidely dismisses the hazards of smoking. "You say... one cigarette ruins everyoneís life. We donít believe you this time." Then again, maybe theyíre afraid that releasing such a sporty, swashbuckling tune like "Together" on the airwaves will take a bite out of the sales of the latest Matchbox 20 CD. Maybe they just don't want Jupiter Affect to embarrass all thoseother rock bands out there that don't know how to rock. But whatever the reason is for the Vatican trying to keep this music from you, donít you let them do it. Resist! Fight the power! Buy the CD! The tracks are broken down into two "methods" for becoming Alice, and while I have failed to isolate the specific qualitative differences between the two methodologies, I can state with absolute certainty that both methods are equally effective. Get to it before the Pope declares it a heresy and excommunicates them.
Buy Instructions on the Two Ways of Becoming Alice at amazon.com or amazon.co.uk.