Tame Impala were at first listen anything but tame. Their EP came out more than a year ago, featuring five tracks of in-your-face psychedelic rock-and-roll. You could easily have convinced me they were out of the sixties, but how wrong that'd be!
While their sound is old, this Perth trio is anything but (as evidenced by the picture at right). I won't say I've been looking forward to this album since that initial EP, but I probably should have been. This album is epic for both its modernity and its taste for classic sound. The track that led me to conclude that this album is worth spreading was "Alter Ego". Perhaps that's because the lead-in, "Desire Be Desire Go" was featured on their EP, allowing me to segue from familiar territory to the auditory surprise of something new.
While I unfortunately don't have much time to keep reviewing this right now, I'll let Aquarium Drunkard speak for me:
Taken from the band's self-titled EP, "Desire Be, Desire Go" reminds us where the band started, but our introduction to these youngsters from Perth, Australia really begins with the following track "Alter Ego". It's the moment where Tame Impala leave Earth and introduce Innerspeaker's signature multi-octave guitar leads. "Why Won't You Make Up Your Mind" and the seven-minute trip "Runway, Houses, City, Clouds" both offer even more captivating examples by trading fuzzed out blues scales in favor of lazer-guided melodies.
And finally, there's the mind-blowing single "Solitude is Bliss". Set against shuffling drums and swirling guitar chords, Parker's delivery is consistently casual until that soaring chorus line hits, "You will never come close to how I feel". It's the most compelling moment on the entire album. Formulas are often thought of as a crutch in music, but it can also set a template that educates and inspires us to dig deeper into an artist's work. When you first listen to Innerspeaker it's going to feel indulgent and formulaic at times. But ignore the stereotypes that psychedelic music can evoke and focus on the brilliant drumming and guitar solo work on "Expectation" or the simple fuzz-rock melodies on "Lucidity". This is a band that directs your attention to the classics yet always sounds as if they're moving into the future.