Exuberant 1960s British psyche pop... from New Jersey
This Jersey-based foursome made its name out of Syd Barrett left-overs (his band took the front half of bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council’s handles), and its aesthetic out of mod-boy, 1960s garage ephemera. Still their take on Nuggets-era psyche pop is so fresh, so happy, so god-damned fun to listen to that you can’t fault them. It’s not like they’ve copied the Zombies, the Monkees, the Flaming Groovies… more like they drank the same purple and orange kool-aid. This second full-length is pure joy from start to finish, whether you favor the Who-redolent tom and guitar intro of “Beautiful,” the Costello-ish swagger of “Looking at Louth”, or the wonderfully excessive mid-1970s guitar solo that splits poppy “Strawberry Smell” right in the middle. Myself, I’m partial to wah wah, so it’s the dreamy, drowsy furze of “Archie’s Theme” that pulls me in, and wrecks me on its UK-strutting razor sharp choruses. The best cut, though, clearly belongs to one “Meghan Allison”, a frighteningly accomplished young woman who’s “Ten feet tall in boots/ Built for the purpose of/ Kicking down doors of those in power/ She’s the girl of the hour.” The song is drenched in giddy ‘60s harmonies, fuzz-laden guitars. You might think you were in swinging London, except at the end, the title character comes home from work, announcing, “Everyone there is dead/ What would you like for dinner?” Brilliant stuff.