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Tame Impala: Lonerism

Album Review

Second album from the Oz psychedelicists.

This Perth quartet’s 2010 debut Innerspeaker managed to achieve the almost impossible feat of combining elements of Cream, Hendrix and Revolver-era Beatles without ever sounding weighed down by a sepia-tinted past.

With former Mercury Rev man Dave Fridmann back in the producer’s chair, the follow-up sees them go even further out. At times (Music To Walk Home By, Nothing Has Happened), the swirling psych-pop which results has the effortless feel of MGMT covering ELO somewhere north of Alpha Centauri. 

At others (notably Mind Mischief), mainman Kevin Parker’s insistence on swathing every guitar part in a gloop of flanges and phasers means it’s hard to locate the – admittedly gorgeous – tune buried deep within the caverns of sound. 

Parker has mentioned Supertramp as an influence on Lonerism, and you can hear it in the melancholy which seems to lie at the heart of Apocalypse Dreams and Feels Like We Only Go Backwards. Success on such a scale seems unlikely until the effects pedals are prised away from him, but like My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, there’s no faulting his ambition. 

Not for everyone, then, but suck for long enough on these lysergic nuggets and you’ll get a taste of psych-pop paradise.

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