I know this fact not from only the music publications and independent radio stations having a virtual duck fit about it, or from said sources playing and creaming over the likes of Wooden Shjips, (their off-shoot) Moon Duo, Time and Space Machine, Wolf People and (a personal favourite) Plank! No, the main reason I am aware of the re-emerging love for the acid soaked genre by bands and fans alike is because my older sibling simply WILL NOT SHUT UP ABOUT IT. And when our kid is obsessed with a movement, it usually turns out to be a good call. To be fair, although it pains me to do it, I have to agree with him on this one.
The amount of bands and artists flying their psych flag is infectious. They are combining flecks of electronica, shoegaze, loops and even touches of mainstream rock with the trippy San Francisco origins to bring about the fresh Neo-Psychedelic movement. One such band who are spearheading this movement, pushing it above ground are (well, you must have guessed by the heading up there really...) Tame Impala. This Australian outfit are back to follow up 2010's immense weed smoke immersed debut Innerspeaker.
So, what do we get with Tame Impala's new offering Lonerism? Have the Antipodeans gone all hard rock on our asses in Aussie respect to AC/DC? Have they gone skipping down a dub-step highway hand in hand with fellow countrymen Knife Party? In a word, No. And thank the [insert preferred deity here] for that fact!
From the opening breath filled repeating vocals and steam-train tempoed distorted drum patterns on "Be Above It,"this sophomore offering is twelve tracks of tripped out, blissed out Aussie day dreams.
"Endors Toi" contains one the best produced intros you may have, or will hear in a long while, the middle eastern feel backed with interspersed drumming 'fits' lead into vocals that sweep towards the ears like an approaching Arabian sandstorm, only to lift you up and carry your body to an oasis (no not the cocky manc type, the desert waterhole with added bongs type)!
"Mind Mischief" comes at your ears with a riff that's both hard and metallic yet still soft enough to caress - not cut, like a blunted sword, again with the layered snares and bass yanking on the tapping toes.
A true highlight, if there could be such a thing here, is "Music To Walk Home By," it is everything Tame Impala are about. If a friend was to ask you “what do that Tame Impala sound like then?” sit them down with this track in their ears and watch the instant flash of realisation in their eyes. Oh, and it does exactly what the title says, I've tested it on repeat and walked so far I had to get a bus back home.
Recent release 'Elephant' takes that glam rock beat that Kasabian insist on fannying about with and pull it, twist it and force LSD down its gullet until the layered production spins the track back to the cusp of the 60's and 70's, taking a digital age with it. The bass line could have been recorded by a thousand reel to reel recorders running simultaneously.
The descriptions could keep rolling on and on for every single track here on Lonerism but, to be honest no amount of words would really do them justice. So get yourself to that spotify link above and sink into middle eastern dreams on pillows of psychedelic (turkish) delight.
Tame Impala – Lonerism is out now.