Right let’s get one thing out the way: In their own words, Australian three piece Tame Impala play “psychedelic hypno-groove melodic rock music“ and new album Innerspeaker isn’t so much of a tip of the hat to a bygone era; it’s a full blown embrace of sixties psychedelia.
But get over this barefaced fact and what is left is a dazzling, swirling album full of tie dyed melodies drawn from a mixed pot of well loved sixties artists, most predominantly The Beatles. This is emphasised further by Kevin Parker’s vocals being unnervingly similar to Lennon’s own spellbinding wail. Moreover, Tame Impala join a growing number of Australian bands embracing psychedelic rock. Sounding at times more Wolfmother than ‘Zepplin, it’s evident this band are as much of a product of their own nation’s continued love affair with the sixties as they are with the era itself.
Shoegaze bands such as Spiritualized might have touched upon psychedelic “acid rock” before but Tame Impala explore this genre with such completeness and passion that their music is more actual psychedelia than a mere replica. In a world where most bands struggle to add quality or texture to well established genres here we have a three piece redefining what can be done with our collective musical past.
Innerspeaker’s twelve tracks make up one long musical acid trip of nostalgia; there is little joy in separating them out individually (although the weaving epic that is ‘Runaway, Houses, City, Clouds’ deserves a special mention). Each song melts into the next, layered, ethereal, technicolour and constantly accessible despite how esoteric things might initially sound. Sometimes guitar driven, often spacey, occasionally funky and always a meandering sonic adventure, Tame Impala breathe new life into psychedelia in a way other bands must envy. Immerse yourself in this album; it’s a fantastic achievement and a beautiful work of art.