Psychedelic music as we know it today is a vague term with every hipster from MGMT to Animal Collective stamping their own brand on the genre. But unlike bands that try to recreate a bygone era, Perth-based Tame Impala seem to exist right in that void.
Their debut album Innerspeaker is more than what JUICE expected them to deliver after we picked them as a breakout band in 2009, and is bound to place them in the same league as rockstar brethren Wolfmother, The Vines and Silverchair.
The 3-piece band, who perform live with an additional member, has name-checked artists old and new as influences. And throughout Innerspeaker, you can hear bits and pieces of Cream, John Lennon (who vocalist Kevin Parker sounds eerily like), Josh Homme, Beck, The Doors, Gnarls Barkley, Jefferson Airplane and Massive Attack. Quite impressive, considering the fact that they managed to jam so much into one record without having a clear standout single.
Innerspeaker is one of those albums meant to be listened to from beginning to end, without pauses, toilet breaks or rundowns to the corner 7-Eleven. From the kick-off, ‘It Is Not Meant To Be’ sets the tone for the whole album with its slow, progressive build-up-starting with guitars, then a little bassline, then drums and finally Kevin’s refrained vocals.
‘Desire Be Desire Go’, taken from their previous self-titled EP, follows with a slight increase in tempo-for Tame Impala, a proper build-up is not limited to the frame of a song, it applies to the entire album. Just moments into 3rd track ‘Alter Ego’ and we’re thrown into a dizzy spell of rolling drums and mysticism. ‘Lucidity’ picks up the pace again with Kinks-like simplicity and hooks.
Echoes of The Stone Roses and The Verve are heard further on the album (in ‘Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?’ and ‘Solitude Is Bliss’). And ‘Bold Arrow Of Time’ sounds like a heavy stomper of Grand Funk Railroad.
But make no mistake. This is not some lost Pink Floyd mixtape or Hendrix jamming session you’re hearing. No, this is simple, uninhibited psychedelic music. Stock up on the munchies before you put it on.
LISTEN TO: ‘It Is Not Meant To Be’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Wolf & Cub, Beach Fossils, Here We Go Magic
Ride the Impala at www.myspace.com/tameimpala.
1. IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE
2. DESIRE BE DESIRE GO
3. ALTER EGO
5. WHY WON’T YOU MAKE UP YOUR MIND?
6. SOLITUDE IS BLISS
7. ISLAND WALKING (ITUNES BONUS TRACK)
8. JEREMY’S STORM
10. THE BOLD ARROW OF TIME
11. RUNWAY, HOUSES, CITY, CLOUDS
12. I DON’T REALLY MIND
And here’s ‘Solitude Is Bliss’ from Innerspeaker: