Thursday, April 21, 2011

West Coast Psych: Tame Impala

This album is on super heavy rotation here at Medium Rotation, where anything with anvil-heavy riffs and strong melodies moves to the front of the class. The 70s-style art looks like a Can cover gone pastoral, but inside is a platter which takes the image of clouds vanishing into infinity and translates it into wispy tunes which float over the much, much heavier guitar riffage. Which is a neat trick: it rocks, and sometimes rocks hard, but the vocal lines, in a type of stoner rock counterpoint, float above and give the heavy a creamy frosting.

Tame Impala are from Perth, Australia, which is not quite the West Coast implied in the title of this post. But these guys don't really sound much like 60s/70s California psych-rock too much; there's much less noodling. Instead, they channel the best melodic heavy rock of the last four decades: the Beatles, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Ride, Dinosaur Jr., Black Mountain, Queens of the Stone Age, Dungen. If you like any of theses bands, give Tame Impala a listen, and turn it up.

The whole album is great, though it's pretty hard to find a physical copy at present. Here's one of their lighter tracks.

Tame Impala, "Alter Ego":

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