Sunday, June 9, 2013

Tame Impala album and field review 5/30 at Fox Pomona



Tame Maybe, Albeit Powerful

Power chords for the ages.  Let’s name some.

Maybe start with “Baba O’Riley.”  Legendary.  Its legacy not the slightest bit watered down by the fact Townsend has allowed his most recognizable riffs to recently hawk CSI, Buick, suga-rfree gluten-infused Frosted flakes, whatever.  Well, at least I think so.  At any rate, the tour de force that everyone simply calls "Teenage Wasteland" is anything but – it’s glorious, inspiring, ageless.

How about “Smoke on the Water?”  Iconic. But if given a choice I'd take BDP's sample on "Ya Slippin", actually, the best incorporation of metal into hip hop in history, light years ahead of “Walk this Way”.

Soundgarden’s cathartic bridge about two-thirds through “Jesus Christ Pose”?  I dare you to listen without headbanging along.  Impossible.

Well, it’s time for another one - just a bit more contemporary - "Be Above it" from Tame Impala, the opening track off Lonerism, what has to be one of the most joyously original, praiseworthy, just flat-out best cds in many years.  If you don't believe me, search YouTube for Amoeba's amusing “What’s in my Bag” series and listen to no less authority than the Modfather himself, Sir Paul Weller.

Breathless, uplifting message?  Check.  Frantic, bonejarring percussion? In spades.  But it isn't till the 1:15 mark that Kevin Parker just lets loose with a thundering reverberating chord.  Like, it just MATTERS.  Maybe thirty seconds later, another one.  Just a few interspersed throughout about 3 minutes or so of epic, pure genius.

Parker is nothing short of magical in the studio - Lonerism and its predecessor Innerspeaker are sonic revelations, splendidly evoking the very best of Revolver-era Lennon.  The bar seems to be sky-high for the affably slender Aussie, who last week headlined a triumphant return to Southern California after wowing the desert masses at Coachella just a month or so ago.  Performing all his most recognizable compositions in front of a lively, tres psychedelic backdrop animation reminiscent of a high-tech Spirograph dancing in tune to his undulating guitar riffs, Parker sent his adoring mostly twenty-something crowd into ecstatic hyperkenesis when he busted out his indie radio-friendly hits “Elephant” and “Seems Like We Only Go Backwards”.    An unexpected gem was set-closer “Half Full Glass of Wine”, off the eponymous EP that started it all; the band extended this taste of Cream and Foghat-inspired stomping blues into a good ten-minute long groovy workout.  Too bad it was generated a few years too late for a cleverly placed surfacing in Dazed and Confused; I’m sure McConaughey and Affleck speeding down the boulevard in tune to this freewheeling jam would have sounded righteously at home sandwiched between “Schools Out For Summer” and “Slow Ride”.

Ultimately, Parker’s live presentation, in which he hooks up with four live bodies to recreate the magic of his one-man-band studio persona, perhaps lags just a tad behind his prerecorded regalia, but watch the throne indeed, Kanye and Jay.  A soft-spoken but brilliant animal is poised to assume the mantle of superstardom if there is any justice in the world. 

--Rhythm Slayer

1 comment:

Independent Music Promotions said...

I unfortunately missed their Vancouver show, but agree that this is most definitely an artist worth the hype. Brilliant songwriting.

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