Monday, August 04, 2008
The Wayback Machine
G'day Voyagers! We're ready for another trip thru' time and today's guest traveler gives us a well-considered adventure. Our intrepid tripper knows his psychedelia and makes some of the finest going today: Matt Tow of Australia's the Lovetones!
(* photo by planet-keri,from SXSW, with thanks!)
The Lovetones were created after the disbandment of Matt's previous band, Drop City, and debuted with 2002's Be What You Want.
2004 saw the release of an EP, Stars, and this was followed in 2006 with Meditations. Finally, last year they gave us Axiom. The reviews have been largely positive; Patrick Emery of Beat said:
"At the risk of condoning the self-perpetuating hyperbole that permeates the cultural significance of the 1960s, at the heart of the emergence of the psychedelic pop movement was a realisation (sparked by some of Stanley Owsley's highest quality pharmaceutical products) that within the superficial simplicity of the humble pop song resided infinite layers crying out for artistic exploration.
That contradiction – or maybe it's just a dialectic – remains central to The Lovetones' music. On the last Lovetones record, Meditations, the band explored more obvious psychedelic territory, wading through fuzzed out soundscapes that threatened to bend your mind into a rubbery mass. There are a couple of noticeable deviations on Axiom. Firstly, The Lovetones detour away from their previous journey to the depths of psychedelic pop in favour of a sonic landscape that explores the beauty of the pop form that exists within the modern psychedelic style. Secondly, there's a multi-instrumental aspect – perhaps best illustrated by the poly-dimensional Navigator – that embellishes the pop sensibility without saturating it.
Throughout it all Matthew Tow remains a master of the pop song. The first single lifted from the album, Wintertime in Hollywood, is proof positive, a love song that makes you smile without puking, with a melody that hangs around without overstaying its welcome. Or there's the sweet and sunny Californian happiness of Say You Will, a perfect recipe for a day at the beach free from the brain frying frustrations of everyday life. And just to show that there's still some psychedelic exploration left in the Lovetones, Alone rounds out the album with some blurry eyed, string-augmented artistic indulgence.
The Lovetones are criminally under-appreciated in Australia – for once, you can be sure the Americans are smarter than us on this one. Axiom is unlikely to redress completely that criminality, but it should help."
Amen! We're looking forward to a new release and the places Matt takes us!
So, where does he want to go and who does he want to see?
You've been given a one-time opportunity to use The Wayback Machine; what band would you like to see, in what year, and what song would you most want to see them play?
Matt: The Kinks, on the 'Arthur' album tour – 1969, playing the song 'Australia'…
Good luck and thank you Matt!