Album Review: Richard In Your Mind – Ponderosa

RIYM_Ponderosa.165601Richard In Your Mind, well that’s a band right there. Anyone who’s seen them live can tell you that they are an ecstatic, multi-tentacled sensory exploit. They’ll prong your mind, invade your personal space, and slither right up next to you, sitars and other unusual instruments providing a musical experience somewhere both in the past and the future. Like, if The Beatles came from 2170, and used lasers to play their guitars instead of your “average hands ‘n’ fingers”, then they might be a little like what Richard In Your Mind sound like when they step on a stage. BUT CAN THEY TRANSLATE THAT INTO A LAND “N” SEA SCENARIO? DO THEY GRADUATE TO AN AMPHIBIOUS LEVEL? WHAT I’M TRYING TO SAY IS CAN RIYM PERFECT THEIR SOUND IN A LIVE SETTING AND ON RECORD??? OOOOO Clickbait!!!!

In short, both yes and no. They’re prevailing weirdness always keeps RIchard In Your Mind. At times, it’s off-kilter cuteness, established and executed with innocent charm like the too-catchy “Hammered”. This right here is a song that will stick in your mind for yonks, and for all the right reasons. It’s simple, fun and plain, doing with a fruit riff and a subtle nod to alcoholism what it took Michael Jackson millions of dollars to do. “Hammered” immediately disarms as the perfect Inner West anthem, something to get jiggy with whilst perusing the racks of CREAM on King, or skipping down the alleyway towards the Newsagency to. Of course, a song this brilliant isn’t limited to simply Sydney; hopefully this badboy takes off worldwide, after being named happiest song ever, and getting chucked onto a Coke commercial. “Hammered” could probably engage world peace, if only we could find a loudspeaker loud enough.

Then, there are the moments of perfect psych-pop. When it comes to songs like “This Is House Music”, “Good Morning” or “Love Grows”, Richard In Your Mind delve into a rare territory that hasn’t been explored successfully since Beck’s ‘ODELAY!’. The closest thing to this kind of successful, no-holds-barred psych-pop walloping is Gerling. These songs, they twist, whirl and throw up on your brain, as if RIYM fed acid to their instruments, and then stood back and watched how their newly ball-tripping musical friends coped under the stress that is psychedelics. I’m pretty sure I heard a hi-hat buckled under the pressure and smeared some sitar shit on himself, in an effort to mask himself from the “Predators”. Acid. It’s a hell of a drug.

However, there are points in the record that, although not bad per se, don’t match the enthusiasm or strangeness that allows for the album to fully blast open  it’s neck flaps, frilled-neck lizard style. Songs like “Four Leaf Clover Salad” can trip and stumble, and whilst you can see what RIYM were going for, it also becomes apparent that they didn’t quite reach the right heights.

However, it’s not important to get bogged down in the muddier parts of the record. When Richard In Your Mind are focused, and have a destination in mind of where they want the song to end up, then it is a sticky-sweet, candy-flipping journey following them down that road. For the majority of the album, hanging out with Richard In Your Mind is like adventuring to the Magical Kingdom of Psych Done Well, and staring in wide-eyed, blissful happiness at all the pink cloud fluff that Richard In Your Mind so easily spurt out of their instruments.

‘Ponderosa’ is out now on Rice Is Nice Records. They’re launching the record in Sydney at The Lansdowne (LANNNNYYY) on October 17th. Sick Juan!


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