All Things Are Light (2007)

All Things Are Light LP
Camera Obscura (Australia)

The sixth full length from the Linus Pauling Quartet came in the wake of disagreements between the band and their decade long label, September Gurls, that resulted in amicable departure.  ATAL was released on the revered Australian psych label, Camera Obscura, whose head, Tony Dale, had been the initial driving force behind Ashes in the Bong of God.   In the wake of the C6 sessions, Ramon and Steve decided to secretly record the album.  While the rest of the band thought they were working on demos, Ramon and Steve secretly mixed and handled the artwork duties.  By the time the album was all but mastered the rest of the band was let in on the fact that the record was tracked, artwork was ready, and they would soon be going to press.  Sneaky and underhanded, yes, but it did make for one of the shortest turn arounds ever for the band.  The result was one of the LP4’s most successful releases that sold out in the EU in a metter of weeks and lead to the band performing at the SXSW and Terrastock VII festivals the following year. 


The full press packet can be found at which includes reprints of the accompanying booklet, press reviews, and band promotional photos.

Fun Facts: 

  • The feedback loop heard in Alien Abduction is generated by amon’s son, Orion.
  • The Album is dedicated to Ike Heider, son of Clinton Heider.
  • The album title was taken from a note scribbled by a friend Conor Priscmann.
  • Tom Carter wrote the liner notes as a direct parody of the liner notes of a Boston album’s liner notes.
  • The accompanying booklet artwork for “Waiting For the Axe to Fall”was done by John Cramer of the Mike Gunn.
  • The two pages of the booklet feature many old band posters and images of local Houston bands active or just emerging ontto the Houston scene at the time.  A fun game to play years after the release is one we call “Who is still around?”.
  • The Proletariat referenced in “She Bad, She Thowed” closed in 2008 due.   

Track Listing:

Alien Abduction – This is a Clinton and Charlie song dealing with the usual themes of aliens and space. 

Southern Pine –This was a crucial song.  For a while the LP4 had been toying with more melodic elements that just were not very heavy (see Horns of Ammon) but Clinton broke the stalemate with this song that combined both melodic psych elements with heavy stoner rock.  Without this song, this album might not have existed.

She Bad, She Thowed –This song has a long story behind it.  Ramon started hitting the main riff in rehearsal and the band hit the groove while Clinton, seeing some Rap Poster on the wall, used the tagline as a chorus.  Ramon took the jam, refined it, and wrote lyrics about his then wife (also the album’s photographer) having a bar fight and getting rescued through the intervention of a friend (who would later be his girlfriend. Yes, it’s complicated like that).  Clinton helped revise the lyrics and the rest is history. Musically it is indebted to local garage rock band, the Fatal Flying Guilloteens.  Additionally, the middle break has an homage to Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter”.

Old Crow – Another one with basic riff ideas by Ramon and honed by Clinton and then the rest of the band.  It’s inspired by Band of Gypsy’s and if you listen closely you can actually her Ramon fucking up his own riff.

40 oz. – Another Clinton Ramon collaboration where Ramon started with a simple lick and it expanded from there.  It’s a tribute to Clinton’s favorite beverage.

Encherito – A sequel to Encherito.  The riff is a mutation of DEVO’s mongoloid that Ramon began playing in the space and Clinton latched onto with lyrics he later came to regret ever having started.  The use of saxophone by Charlie and the production on this song are a tribute to The Party Owls, whose punk rock 7″ was highly influential to Clinton and Ramon growing up.  The voices in the break are those of Clinton (clerk) and Ramon (customer).

Waiting for the Axe – This was a song written on a bet.  The band was drinking at Poison Girl and the topic came up of  The bet was for Clinton to pen a sword metal epic and the very next day, WFTATF was what he came back with this which combined two riffs,  one which may have been Charlie’s and one which was Clinton’s. 

Sample Reviews:

“a core point about the Linus Pauling Quartet isn’t merely that they’re a great psych band, but a great band period, able to embrace a lot of styles and moods and work them well.” 4/5 stars – Ned Raggett, All Music

“The album is just 35 minutes long, but it’s such a weighty 35 minutes that you’ll feel more than satisfied. It only arrived a few days ago and I’ve been blaring it in the car ever since.” –  Jerry Kranitz, Aural Innovations (USA)

“These guys have always been clever enough to play it real stupid, walking that fine line between dope-induced idiocy and genius and their sense of humor is definitely intact on All Things Are Light. The opening “Alien Abduction” offers a tasty slice of majestic Sabbathian riffdom and as more guitars are added to the mix it reaches some sort of groove rock momentum. It’s bombastic to say the least and it’s not surprising to hear that one of the band’s mottos is ‘anything worth doing is worth overdoing’.” – Mats Gustafsson, The Broken Face (Sweden)

“Leave it to Woody Allen, of all people, to coin the perfect description of the LP4 (perhaps the world?s only seven-member quartet!) experience when, 30 years ago he asked Diane Keaton’s title character in Annie Hall if a concert she attended achieved total heaviosity? …  Nine minutes in and, yes, Woody, we have achieved ?heaviosity?? and that?s only track one!” – 8/10  Jeff Penczak, Foxy Digitalis (USA)

There simply aren’t enough songs written these days about alien abductions, punk tributes to unmentionable culinary delicacies, excess quantities of malt beer and epic cutlery battles. Trust Houston’s premier stoner psych rockers The Linus Pauling Quartet to set the record straight with this, their sixth album. Six albums! I was gobsmacked when they survived long enough to make two records without succumbing to overdoses, murder or bizarre gardening accidents. Rest assured however that the Linus Pauling Quartet remain equal parts demented, chaotic and entertaining. This is I suppose unsurprising for a product of the same home-town as the Red Krayola.” – Phil McMullen, Ptolemaic Terrascope (UK)

Related Articles:

The Light Brigade – Houston Press

Q & A with the Linus Pauling Quartet – Houston Press

Record Release Show Review – Houston Press

Linus Pauling Terrastock Links- LP4 Blog

Comments are closed