By The Psychedelic Breakfast
The Psychedelic Breakfast charge in where most would fear to tread. They have a very rough grasp of the way that some of the Los Angeles/San Franciso musics sounded nearly 40 years ago, and the sleeve displays a fancy dress appreciation of the basic visual elements of hippy chic. But the music is clumsy and inarticulate, and is based on much more recent musical templates. The delicacy and power of Love or the Doors is smothered by the incoherence of lazier 1980s and 90s derivatives. (Stone Roses without the insipiration and Oasis without the tunes) Nick Grimes' rasping, colourless vocal line is distracting and there's no realisation of the transcendent possibilities of the extended freak out. (although they do try, bless 'em, they do try). It's all pretty crude.
On the other hand, it is enthusiastic self confident and risk taking. The ten songs were recorded (the tediously written notes claim) in one single take with no breaks. And that's what it sounds like. As I listen for the umpteenth time, trying to find either a tune or the flashback moment that will draw me in, I hear cute but isolated bits of guitar and bass scattered along the way. But the unsympathetically rigid drumming and the gratingly pushy voice keep scaring me away. I'm sure it works live when the audience are well stoned. "I Become The Light" has the germ of a good idea in the intro. But that voice is so harsh and the snare drum so miltary, any affinity with the Beautiful People is blasted to hell. You would have to make friends with the band first, then enjoy the show (out of your skull), then buy the CD as an act of solidarity, or maybe defiance.
The opening bars of "Creatures", right at the end of the CD were Manchester enough for me to have a moment's panic that a new generation of bands influenced by the Music was coming up already. The extended stereo panning at the end gives you an approximate version of night time travel sickness, and hints at some of the less enjoyable parts towards the end of a hallucinatory experience. But when all done and dusted this is mind numbing rather than mind expanding stuff. If you dont believe me, go see 'em at Joseph's Well next month.