Unlike a lot of songs, I found out that there isn’t a lot to say about Sunbeam Sound Machine other than he’s really good. It’s a solo moniker for Nick Sowersby, and his first single ‘Cosmic Love Affair’ is beautiful in its simple execution. Its a tired, washed over piece of music that hangs onto the listener with a reverie. Listening to ‘Cosmic Love Affair’ is a bit like watching a French film: you cant really understand the words, you’re trying to figure out whats going on and failing miserably, but goddamn if this isn’t the best shit you’ve heard in a while. ‘Cosmic Love Affair’ is perfect in the way it starts off slow, builds and builds for a while, and then just as it hits its climax, completely lets go and finishes. Youth Lagoon would be in tears of envy.
Holy. Fucking. Shit. This album. This fucking album…goes beyond words of how fucking amazing an album is capable of being. Think Metallica’s ‘Black Album’ banging The Rolling Stones’ ‘Exile On Main Street’ in a shitty motel room, and then an hour later, Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ and Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’ score some mean smack off The Flaming Lips’ ‘The Soft Bulletin’, and shoot up in the exact same room. The blood and semen mix, Stu Mackenzie happened to catch some in a vial, went back to the lab, and created this fucking masterpiece. Yep, ‘Float Along-Fill Your Lungs’ is as classic an album as they come, and that is no mean feat. You, as a member of the human race, need to buy a dozen copies of this album, and bathe yourself in it, because that is the only way you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the true power of this record, and this band.
To step back a bit, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (henceforth known as King Jizz) is a septet (that’s seven people!) from Melbourne that have created some of the most fried sounds to penetrate the human existence since Neanderthals learned to speak. However, the greatest thin about King Jizz, besides how fucking great they sound all the time, is how they’ve managed to re-invent themselves. When I was but a wee 16 year old, I first fell in love with their raucous garage rock n roll from their ‘Willoughby’s Beach’ EP. Now, whilst they’ve always maintained that strong, unhinged sound, their debut album went to elongate those ideas, whilst the second album went to the opposite end of the spectrum and came out as an epic spaghetti western. Now there’s a third album, and it sees King Jizz re-inventing themselves again as pysch-ward shoegaze superstars Oh, and did I mention, this is their third album in 18 months? They’ve accomplished more in a year and a half than Keanu Reeves has since in the years following ‘Point Break’. And they’ve done it by constantly re-inventing themselves and never sending the same bullshit out into the world twice! Normally, a re-invention spells foreboding doom-Muse, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are just a few of the artists in recent years to ‘mix shit up’, and have come out with confusing and bland results. BUT KING JIZZ HAVE PREVAILED! Because ‘Float Along-Fill Your Lungs’ never misses a mark, not even fucking once.
Starting with the obvious point of reference would be 16 minute orgasm ‘Head On/Pill’. I haven’t been able to get enough of this song, and I first heard it about a month and a half ago. Considering it has a time-limit longer than most student short films, things that seem to go on forever, ‘Head On/Pill’ feels like it could go on forever and never get boring. The constant shifts in tempo, from gruelling guitar dribbling, to afro-eclectrocution levels of hair-raising awesome, the song never fails to satisfy, no matter what point it’s at. There’s all the traditional signs of a great King Jizz song, from the John Dwyer-like yelps of ecstasy, to the kookaburra-laugh guitar screeches that the band have got down so well. But the addition of Middle Eastern sounds and a sitar to the experiment takes shit to a whole other level-if you haven’t fallen in love with this song after your first listen to this song, then you may as well sell all your 13th Floor Elevators records, because you are officially an enemy to psychedelic music.
If the 16 minute jam sesh through heavenly sounds isn’t really your style, but you’re still a fan of the weird, then the rest of the album should provide some comfort. King Jizz don’t let up on the wackness, unloading the lite-n-easy glamour of ‘I Am Not A Man Unless I Have A Woman’, and then piling on the lo-fi acoustic Ty Segallian ‘God Is Calling Me Back Home’, a fucking brilliant song that thankfully transforms into a sprawling mess of guitar tendrils and smoky reverb. From here, the album takes a darker sonic turn with songs like ‘Mystery Jack’ and ’30 Past 7′ bringing the acid-doom back to psychedelic music. Wafting and swaying, soaked in the spirits of fucked-up-ness, the rest of the album is a deep, congested examination of ‘real pyschedelic music’. It’s stuff that’s been to the other side and back, harrowed and forlorn, but somehow alive, and ready to spin a tale. Just a listen to the mind-expanding sounds of title track and closer ‘Float Along-Fill Your Lungs’ should be enough the convince you that this is a band that are in way too deep. But they’ve made this album, and it’s the closest thing to gaining a spiritual awakening from psychedelica since…well, ever.
That’s right, in my humble opinion, King Jizz have crafted the perfect pyschedelic album. Sure, it ticks off the full, mind-altering sound that is required of good pysch albums (The Flaming Lips), and it completes the quest of thematic genius that is required of great psych albums (Tame Impala). But King Jizz take it a step further, putting themselves in a viewpoint of world-wearied evil, then collided it with their slack-jawed, dilated-pupil garage and come up with something that, dare I say it, is completely original. ‘Float Along-Fill Your Lungs’ does not just entertain the listener, but challenges and compels them, freaks them out, comforts them, and then disappears on them having taught them everything they know. Fuck, that’s some poetic justice right there.
You can buy ‘Float Along-Fill Your Lungs’ right now at King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s Bandcamp, or head to Itunes. To see the band, (I’m not even going to come up with some bullshit metaphorical comparison, you need to see this band), they’ll be playing at The Standard on Saturday, November 2nd. Go. If you don’t, God will weep for humanity.
The first thing that will strike you about the Washington D.C band Dot Dash are the riffs. You will be blown over by them like the mighty winds of Poseidon’s breath. They are chunkier than the thighs of a fat kid on a McDonald’s spree. They are more addictive than the meth on Breaking Bad. And it sounds better than the wind rushing past your ears when you go skydiving. These aren’t rackety little riffs that nudge the song along. No, these bad boys pulse with a life of their own, and the rest of the greatness of Dot Dash follows.
Now, on the subject of riffs that split your head at the seams, there’s no denying it, these guys have probably listened to their fair share of Superchunk in their lifetimes, because it comes out to shine in their music. But that is in no way a bad thing, Superchunk were one of the greatest bands of the 90’s, and from my recollection, I don’t think they’ve ever released a bad album. So if there was going to be a major influence on your sound of riff-based rock, Superchunk would be a pretty good place to start.
Anyway, getting back to ‘Half-Remembered Dream’, it’s an awesome album. In terms of fluid rocking out, this album is flawless. It features the perfect uptempo rock music that’s been missing from this dark and disturbing world. Fuck the Syrian situation, and just listen to Dot Dash’s record. It bounces and frolics in the eternal pit of riffs. The triple threat that opens the album of ‘(Here’s To) The Ghosts of the Past’, ‘Hands of Time’ and ‘Bloom/Decay’ makes for a truly epic opening that will grab the fuck out of your attention and wrestle you to the ground like some sort of guitar crocodile (watch the Discovery Channel sometime, its full of heaps of interesting shit, almost as interesting as Dot Dash). For the most part, ‘Half-Remembered Dream’ retains the energy and passion of those first three brilliant songs. The explosive and friendly complex nature is best captured later down the line by songs like ‘Do Re Mi’ and ‘A Light in the Distance’, but all round, you can’t find fault with Dot Dash in terms of musical exuberance.
Overall, the album will make any lover of guitar based music wet in the loins. ‘Half-Remembered Dream’ is a fantastic album from the moment those riff sirens ring out, and the drums kick with the power of a greased up Chevy engine. Dot Dash are a band that you should consider as being your next favourite. Write home about this one if you want to get laid by like-minded lovers of awesome.
You can buy the album right here, amongst Dot Dash’s other shit. Totally worth it.
Fact: a song with a title that gives off a cyclical but vague plot structure using only two words is going to be fan-fucking tastic. At least, that’s the case with Washington D.C based indie rock band Dot Dash. Think Superchunk and Swervedriver, easygoing riffs that force you into a grin, and vocals that aren’t shoving anything down your throat, but simply gravitate in their own little space. And then ending? Fucking 10/10 for that onslaught of amiable sound! Awesome shit!