Straight outta Cambridge! An album to blur the lines between space-rock, shoegaze, trance and indie.
One album that's had repeated listens round our house over the Yuletide period has been the second long-player from Cambridge based trio Psychic Lemon. They may have formed a stone's throw from Syd Barrett's home but their music is not so much The Madcaps whimsy and a trip through Carroll's Looking Glass, as it is a foray into how far a four-piece band can push into uncharted sonics. More outward looking expansion than an examination of the inner-self.
This is apparent from the album's opening track 'Exit To Death Lane', a driving mix of spaced-out indie rock with low-in-the -mix vocals, a baggy-era drumbeat, pulsing bass, and guitar lines that are not afraid to experiment with whatever effects are at hand and can be turned up to eleven. This commitment so sonic adventure is a thread which permeates throughout the rest of the album.
Each listen seems to throw up something new, a fill I'd not noticed here, subtle use of effects there, the way the bassline pushes and pulls into new sections and possibilities. There's plenty of drone and soundscaping going on but always with a pulse, a drive and a direction. And always a promise that as a listener you're going to be taken somewhere. If pushed to guess influences I'd say My Bloody Valentine's Glider EP, Hawkwind, Goat, a healthy dose of Kosmische Musik, and some dancefloor vibes – the repetition and altered states aimed for in trance and rave music.
This is not about genres or influences though, it's music that has the power to transport, music that is both big on energy and ideas. It's meditative and expansive, yet also has the power to move your feet. Also worth checking out is the saxophone on 'Satori Disko' courtesy of guest musician Iain Roddick, which adds a new and unexpected dimension to their palette. Do please have a listen.
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