The first thing that will strike you when the vocals kick in on Tame Impala‘s first full length album Innerspeaker, is that John Lennon lives, especially in the opening stomps of Lucidity. But far from a slavish Beatles sycophantic outfit, Tame Impala are a phenomenon all of their own. Tame Impala began life as three 13 year olds making recordings in a bedroom in Perth, 1999, but their youth belies a canny appreciation and understanding of vintage psychedelia.
Their swirling, rhythmic, lo-fi sixties rock sludge rolls endlessly over psychedelic melodies. They masterfully switch between chunky fuzz and cheery dreamscapes. The album cover really explains everything. Simultaneously esoteric and hooky, they have crafted a sound built from a plethora of influences from Captain Beefheart to Comets on Fire.
Pink Floyd permeates throughout, but its Pink Floyd cicra Obscured by Clouds/More, with the uppers and variety at centre stage. Indeed what is so satisfying so often on Innerspeaker is the readiness with which it stomps on the distortion pedal and unchains Sabbath to start lurching through the noise. Replete with thrumming repetitive builds and sudden left turn rocket rides, Innerspeaker sidelongs you to burn one down and shoot tequila. Runway, Houses, City, Clouds impact drills through wall after wall of soaring Aliens-esque psychedelic indulgences, before climaxing with a sinewave of deliberate, persistent Floyd. Jeremy’s Storm quirkily sets the controls to a Buck Rogers journey that weaves and ricochets through a frenzied bass asteroid field that would trouble the Cooper Temple Clause to keep up. Expectation has an arhythmic stomp that has the vibe and of Zeppelin‘s Celebration Day without the sentiment. The Bold Arrow of Time humps its way through a dense Hendrix blues implosion twong and proceeds to hopscotch between buzzsaw Sunshine of Your Love Cream and Big Come Up Black Keys.
Innerspeak thrills with the adventure of the high and the terror that you might never come down.