It has been three long years since The Len Price 3 issued their fabulous Pictures album, so it really exciting to hear the first track from the band’s upcoming, as yet untitled, new album.
Maggie, is as you might have guessed, a non-tribute to the recently departed ex-PM and if you are in any doubts where the boys stand on Thatcher the pay off line is ‘see you again on judgement day.’
I wonder if they recorded this very recently or if it has been in the can for a while. Anyhow great tune and much better than other Thatcher protest songs we could mention.
Another big fave here this week is the track Merry Go Maggie (which may or may not be the most bizarre Thatcher song yet – I haven’t decided) from LA’s Smoking Trees. The band has recently signed to the brilliant Ample Play Records, who have got The Sufis, excellent Belgian band The Bed Rugs and French psychsters The Sudden Death Of Stars, and their album Acetates is due in May.
This track sounds like a refugee from one of those Piccadilly Sunshine compilations given a contemporary spin. The album is very trippy in places yet has a strong pop edge to it. If you like The Sufis and Paperhead, then you’ll enjoy this too.
Also out this week is the second album from Salisbury’s psych band Beaulieu Porch - We Are Beautiful. I’ll review it properly later this week, but after a couple of plays I can safely say that if you loved the debut album you’ll find plenty to cherish here too.
Also on constant rotation here is the upcoming album from “>London’s Shadow Kabinet - Nostalgia For The future. It is very different from the band’s last album – the Sgt Pepper in miniature that was Smiling World’s Apart, but every bit as good.
It has been a really great week for albums with a pair of excellent new releases.
Band of the week has to be Ulysses who return with their second album Kill You Again, and just like that debut it is an absolute corker. Think noisy glam rock meets Who-like psych with a few outrageous musical steals along with way. Best of all though it has some amazing tunes. If you like Art Brut, David Devant or even The Len Price 3 there is plenty to love here.
The Primitives are back too, well with a kind of new old album. Everything’s Shining Bright rounds up all their indie recordings for the label Lazy at the end of the 80s. It has some real gems too. Their run of singles from that era includes the Morrissey fave Stop Killing Me (think Ramones meets Monkees) through to the bubblegum psych of Through The Flowers. Also included is a live recording and some demos from the album that eventually morphed into Lovely. This wonderful tune is on there too. There’s a double album reissue of Lovely on the cards soon too.
Cornershop’s Ample Play label has two really exciting new releases coming in the early summer. Bedrugs are a Belgian band with a guitar heavy psych sound not too dissimilar from the excellent Brits Temples but with a whiff of bands like Toy and The Horrors, while The Sudden Death Of Stars hail from France and are influenced by The Byrds, Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Church. There is some superb sitar playing on their album too, especially on the Supernovae single featured below. More info here. Both albums are excellent.
London’s Shadow Kabinet have finally announced a release date for their long awaited Nostalgia For The Future album. Whereas their last album Smiling Worlds Apart was a Sgt Pepper-ish minestrone of psych, the newie sounds like the band have shifted forward a decade or so and are mining mid 70s sounds. The title track (on the vid below) is superb.
Another band who have been away way too long is The Magic Theatre. Basically a project of some ex-members of the hugely under rated Brit-Popper Ooberman, the band released a wonderfully ambitious, heavily orchestrated sixties influenced pop album a few years back called London Town. The new one, The Long Way Home, has a track listing and is apparently in the can. The band’s Dan Popplewell described it as
‘Comparing it sonically to the previous album it sounds much better – more rich, alive and real. Compared to The Beatles it’s a tiny bit louder and brighter. Compared to Abba it’s fat and loud. Compared to The Beach Boys it’s very clear and pristine. Compared to Katy Perry it’s more natural and rich. Oops giving away my bad taste there.’
The line up of the Liverpool’s Psych Fest in September is coming together now and there are some real treats including a very rare (is it their first?) UK visit from the hugely rated psychsters Mmoss. The band’s album Only Children has been one of my most played in a long while. Also coming over are Nashville’s superb Paperhead, Dutch psych wunder kid Jacco Gardner and our the brilliant Byrdsie Brit psychers Alfa 9.
Finally this week sees Le Beat Bespoke in London which marks the first performance in well over a decade for one of the very best English psych pop bands ever The Aardvarks.
The band’s complete recorded history is now rounded up here – and very good it is too. Hope they play this one.
Here at Brandish Towers we are huge psych fans. From the bonkers nursery rhymes on acid tunes of early Floyd through to the dream pop melange that is The Horrors we can’t get enough of it.
Here then are our favourite Psychedelic albums of 2012. It does of course beg the question what exactly is Psychedelia?
Literally it is mind expanding music which over time has come to be associated with bands in thrall to its golden age of the late 60s.
These days it has become more of a catch all term though for bands who take mind expanding music from the past (Kraut Rock, Shoegazing, Dream pop and even a bit of prog) and give it a contemporary spin.
This year has all been about the huge success of Tame Impala. They are, however, the tip of a very large iceberg. Labels like Trouble In Mind in the US and Ample Play in the UK as well mags like Shindig and blogs like The Active Listener show just how exciting and diverse the psych scene currently is.
Here then are our favourite 15. What have we missed? Tell us in the comments. Spotify playlist below too.
Beaulieu Porch’s (basically Simon Berry) debut album is proper full on Fabs style 67 psych delivered in an astonishingly ambitious and hugely enjoyable way.
It sounds a like it was recorded in Berry’s attic, but its lo-fi nature doesn’t detract from the exhilarating psych burn outs of ‘Keep On Screaming’ and (track of the year so far) the opener ‘Laminations Are Loaded’. ‘Navy Blue’ shows that Berry is also a master of dreamy ballads while ‘Love 80’, with its ‘Hey Jude’ style coda, is likely to stick in your head for days.
Pretty much every track is a minor classic and if you love UK 60s psych will adore this. If anyone deserves access to Abbey Road’s Studio Two with a thirty piece orchestra and as many mellotrons as he can handle it’s Simon Berry.