|By Andrew Raub||Tuesday, 18 Aug 2009|
It’s a shame that a lot of Australian music doesn’t make its way to the states. There seems to be a lot of great stuff coming out of the country, and yet it’s only by chance that my ears have been blessed with a scant few sonic gifts.
The story of this review is as such: This past Saturday evening I spent a good amount of time reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and listening to Bruce Springsteen’s haunting album Nebraska. The combination of those two things can put a man in a dire mood, especially on a lonely Saturday night.
Then by chance I happened upon Tame Impala, a psychedelic rock band straight out of AU. The depressing funk that had been set upon me was instantly lifted, and the spirit of rock and roll coursed through my veins once more. Taking obvious influence from late 60′s
acid-rock, especially Cream, these guys still manage to sound fresh and exciting.
Opening with “Desire Be Desire Go”, the band introduces itself with a driving but somewhat reserved sounding song that sounds like the Beatles or the Kinks on acid… on acid. And midway through the song is a mandatory super-fuzzed, spaced out interlude/solo. It’s certainly a groovy number and a great start to this EP.
Next is “Skeleton Tiger”, which pushes the acid-washed rock and roll feel even further. There’s some crazy phase/flange effect on the drums, drifting in and out of the song while a synth adds some sparkle to the thick fuzzed out guitars. In a way this song sounds like Cream covering an early song by The Who.
Marking the halfway point is “Half Full Glass of Wine”. A simple two-note riff starts the song and gets some energy building before dropping tempo and then dropping pitch, completely changing the feel on the fly. It’s an amazing transition into a song that epitomizes the Cream comparisons.
The following song, “Forty One Mosquitos Flying In” changes up the sound a little. Much of the song sounds like it could be a Donovan song (although with the heavy instrumentation). The song has some nice subtle jazzy parts amidst the typical bleary-eyed, head-bobbing riffage.
Completing this EP is “Slide Through My Fingers”. Starting off with some spacey sounds and an acoustic guitar, the mood is set for a song that is much more drifting and flowing than the four previous songs.
Each aspect of the band is wonderfully represented in this EP. The vocals are sultry and peaceful. The guitars are rich with thick but never overbearing fuzz. The bass has that classic plucky sound that keeps a solid beat without saturating the songs with lots of low end. The drums can range from simplistic, driving beats to wild fills when needed. Overall these guys seem to know how to let each other shine at various times, although this is a very guitar driven band.
This is a solid EP which shows just what this band is made of. Although they wear their influences on their sleeves, they don’t let that get in the way of their own originality. I am definitely looking forward to the upcoming album slated for a 2010 release.
Unfortunately this EP was not made for mass distribution and is hard to find. It can be found on iTunes if you use that, but apparently not on Amazon or other digital services.
As a bonus, here is the video for “Half Glass Full of Wine”: