[3 December 2007]
Ohio-based quintet the Pillbugs proclaim themselves “the world’s most psychedelic band”. It’s true that these cosmic cowboys have certainly flung the doors of perception wide open with style on their previous four albums. And if prolific stood for “most psychedelic” they’d have a very strong case indeed. After all, they were the first rock band to debut with a double-CD release containing new and original songs, not to mention a second album including a bonus 3-D Viewmaster reel. The group’s latest long player, Monclovia, follows close on the heels of this summer’s, wait for it, double-CD offering Buzz For Aldrin and provides the perfect 12-song gateway to the intoxicating, perfumed garden inhabited by the Pillbugs. Drawing on Beatles-influenced sitar-spun melodies circa Revolver, interlaced with backwards guitar and spacey, psych-folk imagery reminiscent of the Byrds, this compilation, including remixes, concentrates on the band’s catchiest and most accessible guitar heavy psych-sound. Lysergic tales sing of flying spaceships (“4 Sec Nightmare in a 5 Sec Dream”), and cosmic spacemen (“Make Like Arthur Lee”) rub shoulders with the recurring character, the “King of Zorg”, while highlights are provided by two new numbers, “Here’s to the End of Time” and “Faceless Wonder”, that open this impressive collection of retro-psych-pop.