Friday, July 26, 2013
Revenge of the Quick Ripple Bursts - Psych from the Commonwealth; featuring Hailer, Mammoth Mammoth, Jesus Krysler, and Skipping Girl Vinegar
Another gem from Australia where they just seem to do psychedelic rock better than anywhere else. Of course, there's the obvious Church reference, particularly on the languid, dark, and moody opening track "Stroke of the Night" with it's undulating beat and subdued vocals. Distant echoes of guitars and a rock solid melody. But the boys veer far away from that familiar territory. The vocals are much more emotive (and some dynamite backing/harmony vocals like that opening cut) and Another Way explores more sonic territory of mood and ambiance. Dark, without ever being morbid. Light without ever being sugary. It's a journey through fields of psychedelia, hanging out in shadowed glens of dark trance and airy, sunshine-y meadows of upbeat pop. The lads are coming soon to America for their first US Tour and would be well worth catching.
Not much to say about Mammoth Mammoth that hasn't already been said. These guys take their "Heavy-Murder-Fuzz" brand of ball's out rock, load it up with a bathtub full of home-brewed crystal meth and set out on a campaign to piss off your neighbors and get you evicted from the state. Motorhead fueled, punky, heavy psych stoner doom. Yep, that's it. In many ways, it reminds me of our own, Mighty High, who also ply that path of hammerheaded ramrod blitzkrieg rock. Relentless riffage and songs with titles as simple as "Go" give you all you need to know about these aussie rockers. Go get their vinyl from Napalm.
I reviewed these garage rockers last CD, "Shades of Soul" a while back and the guys were kind enough to send in their latest offering of fuzzed out psychedelic, fresh-from-the-garage rock n pop bliss. These guys are so good at what they do, it's addictive. If you're a garage-fuzz-rock-pop fan, this album will be like dropping a sugar junkie into a vat of cotton candy. Massive fuzzed out riffs with melodies that drill themselves into the back recesses of the memory system. One of those CD's I just put on replay and let it be my summer soundtrack. Opening song "Cut My Brain" sets us in motion with a stick-to-my-ear riff and it's all good from there. If you're a fan of Baby Woodrose or anything on the Bad Afro label, you really should check these guys out.
To be honest, I expected to hate this CD. I shouldn't prejudge, I know, but I just had a Polyphonic Spree moment when this came in and Polyphonic Spree and I just don't get along at a cellular level. I rarely like overly self-conscious music. And hate pretension. So I approached this CD carefully, but within one or two listens, the band fully won me over. Not pretentious so much as ambitious, and not self-conscious, so much as self-aware, Skipping Girl Vinegar create immaculate sunshine pop with touches of psychedelic colors and sounds. "Chase the Sun" blending into "You Can" are simply gorgeous pop songs, spartan and naked yet richly realized. "Hand to Hold" grabs me every time, when the band launches into a feistier mood and "Central Station" is the immaculate hook that holds me in place. If you like intelligent, indy psych pop, give these guys a try. They'd make excellent touring partners with fellow Aussies, We All Want To.