Colouring in happy cat families all day long. Perfecting artisan elastic band catapults. Doing suicide-shots of Sunny D. Being a kid is pretty awesome, and sometimes a hefty slice of nostalgia goes a long way. Ever since Childhood floated their way in to view, their swoonsome melodies and acid-washed vibes have offered an alternative to stuffing a Kinder Egg in your mouth and bawling over long-gone Lego structures.
‘Lacuna’ is a pretty fitting-title, however, considering the void in the four-piece’s back catalogue. It’s been nearly two years since they unleashed the giddy vibes of ‘Blue Velvet’, and apart from two singles in the form of ‘Solemn Skies’ in 2013 and ‘Falls Away’ earlier this year, their discography has been a void oozing with hype. Their first few tracks left the door bolt-open for sonic progression; one direction was to blast out the garage-rock of their touring buddies Palma Violets, another was to inflate and nurture the psychedelic flicks that flecked their riffs.
Undoubtedly, their debut does the latter; and it does it in the most gloriously kaleidoscopic way possible. Although it may sound a bit like the deserted dance tent of a Star Trek festival, recording the album with Dan Carey amid smoke machines and lasers has been fantastic in making their sound a little bit fatter; while still retaining the glossy and woozy atmosphere that makes them so memorable. A re-recorded ‘Blue Velvet’ has been rewarded with a new dimension to its silky guitars; and ‘Pay For Cool’ shimmers on a see-saw of distortion and cruising bass.
Perhaps most impressively, is the record’s consistent hooks. Often, a lot of psychedelic rock creeps into the chasm of ten-minute improvised synth solos and relentless distortion. Ben Romans-Hopcraft and co have, however, rather fantastically managed to create a body of work as catchy as it is woozy. ‘Falls Away’ tumbles down a spiralled staircase of lush melodies. ‘As I Am’ bounces in a glittery chorus that never gets lost in the fuzz, while ‘Tides’, backstrokes in a pool of epidemically infectious funk guitar.
Predictably, since it was just as ineffably incredible when released last summer, the chef de oeuvre of the album is ‘Solemn Skies’. It’s an unabashedly 90s anthem dripping with enough vibes to take down a small herd of goats, and a chorus brimming with equal amounts of nostalgic goodness. This isn’t ‘Lacuna’ in the sense of lacking something, or being empty. Instead, it’s an escape from the world – either to past memories or to future adventures – and a empty pool ready to be filled.
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They’re about to kick off a UK tour tonight.
They’ve also shared a video for ‘Don’t Have Me Back’.
More in debt to Prince and Motown’s finest than it is any of music’s more modern masters.
It’s taken from their upcoming new album, ‘Universal High’.