Album Reviews

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – And Now For The Watchamacallit

(Marathon Artists) UK release date: 31 May 2019


Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - And Now For The WatchamacallitPerth, Australia has become synonymous with psychedelic rock since Tame Impala and then POND took off over a decade ago. Whatever they’re putting in the water out there seems to still be on tap, with Psychedelic Porn Crumpets now leading the next wave of such artists to be coming to the genre’s forefront more recently.

2016 and 2017 saw the band release High Visceral (parts one and two) and both were acclaimed for their ‘prog-rock-meets-psych’ intensity, both far reaching efforts that clocked in at around two hours in total, centred around some decent riffage swathed in psych, with the debut focused on lengthier prog rock-esque lengthy jams, whilst the follow-up aimed for a little more consolidation.

Self-produced third LP And Now For The Watchamacallit continues the shrinking trend – this time the entire album is cooked in just 33 minutes and the longest track stands at under four and a half minutes.

Opener Keen For Kick Ons showcases an excellent groovy riff amidst its distorted vocals, fuzz and driving beat before emitting guitar reminiscent of classic ’70s era prog, in particular boasting a whiff of tones that pop up on Mike Oldfield’s 1973 classic Tubular Bells. Native Tongue does similar things, where swirling vocals take on an ethereal dreamlike presence, feeling a little jumbled where lots of ideas seem to battle for space in a druggy fug. Bill’s Mandolin, named after a gift to singer Jack McEwan from his grandfather, is classic psychedelia where cymbals crash against a swirling backdrop alongside more ’70s sounds – this time Thin Lizzy are recalled – as the song takes on a shape akin to a natural evolvement for, say, Temples.

Social Candy is more focused, a tiny snippet reminding of Joan Jett & The Blackhearts as the classic rock memory cells are again pricked, but melodies struggle to appear through the fuzz, whilst closer Dezi’s Adventure manages to recreate the fairground scenario sought from the band’s initial vision of a 1930s carnival for the future generations.

But And Now For The Watchamacallit’s best tracks utilise impressive riffs to greater effect. Hymn For A Droid firstly ups the tempo, delivering a belting riff despite the noise threatening to drown it out, and When In Rome features some brilliant, heavy guitaring at a slower pace, the tempered psych aspect allowing greater focus for some excellent, more conventional rock music.

After the High Visceral twin pairing displayed a tendency to drive off on occasionally lengthy expeditions, the tracks here are far more reined in, resulting in an overall impression of psych-swirling prog rock being squeezed into three minutes or so. Unfortunately, this has a dampening effect when in direct comparison to the earlier releases, and the shorter numbers also fare less well against one of their own precursor tracks, the blisteringly superb album opener Cornflake. Whilst Psychedelic Porn Crumpets remain an attractive proposition, this outing would perhaps suggest that they’re starting to cool off a little after the hot, toasting stage they enjoyed with their first two releases.


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