Friday, June 11, 2010

Tame Impala

Innerspeaker (Modular, 2010)

For: The Clientele, Dungen, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix

Byline: I guess "psychedelic" is a 4-letter word. Oh well. These guys are psych-tastic.

So... time to be confrontational: Ryan H. hurt my feelings. In his recent review of Woodsman's new Mystery Tape EP, Ryan said he "hates" using the word "psychedelic."


Should I feel bad about using the word myself, like millions of times throughout my reviews here on the TOME? Should I feel bad about wanting to use said 11-letter/4-letter word like a gazillion times in my review of this Aussie trio's debut LP? Well, even if I should feel bad, I'm not going to let that stop me. So SOR—RY, Mr. Hall... there's so much reverb, delay and swirling textures saturating these 11 absolutely beautiful songs, it's impossible to not at least recognize that listening to Innerspeaker is the audio equivalent to soaring gracefully high on LSD—seeing shit that's not really there, feeling a little uncomfortable and yet wonderfully at peace with the cosmic riddles of the universe and finding the beauty in just about everything that crosses your eye's (and ear's) path. The sounds are so visual, visceral, buzzingly buoyant (edit: sometimes... see the heavy Zeppelin-stomp of "The Bold Arrow of Time"), hyper-colorful, and radioactively glowing. And the good thing is that Tame Impala's music is also grounded in the wonderful world of pop — 70's riff-centric rock song structures and a heavy focus on melody tether the band before they take off into tempestuous, rip-roaring improvisational feedback-laden noise jams. Tame Impala's axe is actually a chainsaw—motorized, sputtering and searing with a deadly abandon for something you might consider "clean." Tame Impala continues on where Dungen sort of left us all sitting there slack-jawed and wide-eyed from Ta Det Lungt, and holy wow did we ever need for that to happen (Don't get me wrong, 4 is a gem, too, just for different reasons). The 70's just don't seem to want to go away, and another dose is anything but unwelcome, especially when the aesthetic is so perfectly captured—Harrison, Hendrix (yeah, OK, late-60s, too), and Page (and all those other awesome dudes on those fabulous Nuggets compilations)? They're all faithfully memorialized here, and this writer, for one, couldn't be happier.

Oh, and for the record, I only used the "P" word... twice! That's pretty good, right?



—Craw'z 6/11/10

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