With their new release, Tame Impala have really cemented themselves as one of the world’s most exciting new bands. Forget Mumford & Sons, whose second album is as cack as their first. This sophomore effort is all at once hard rock, psychedelic and ethereal.
“Gotta be above it”, chants band leader Kevin Parker, a vocal loop on the opening track in time with the clattering drums that recall Blur’s Song 2. A mastery of production and studio is apparent, but not overpowering. What was hinted at on debut album Innerspeaker is here brought to beautiful fruition, with added John Lennon vocal stylings. But hey, what better band to emulate than the best band ever?
The third track, Apocalypse Dreams. sounds exactly like you’d expect. It’s a pretty stunning soundscape that manages to hold your attention for its six minute length. This seems to suggest Tame Impala’s appeal: they manage to bring in an almost prog influence, but never get lost in noodling mindless solos or unwanted middle sections that go on for 15 minutes for no reason. Leave that to bands like Of Montreal and The Mars Volta.
Later on, the record still holds the high quality of its first half. Feels Like We Only Go Backwards has a beautiful, lingering bass line that shows the improved musicianship here.
Tame Impala have said in the press how they recorded this album all over the world – in stairwells, hotels and aeroplanes. But there’s no disconnection on show. They truly sound like a complete package now, and perhaps reaching out into the world for that extra bit of inspiration is the secret here.