Editor's Rating

Chaotic, day-glo, full of ideas, all squeezed and wrestled into just (round about) 35 minutes. Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are on to something here.

7.9
Marathon Artists

Perth’s Psychedelic Porn Crumpets new album, And Now For The Whatchamacallit, puts them on a pedestal with their fellow countrymen King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard (I figured I wouldn’t get through the review without mentioning them, so let’s get it out there early) shining a light on antipodean psych music through, as well as their records, but touring the US with the Lizards.

Although some things are the same, this stoner vibe and these steely, muscular guitars, and the hazy vocals, even the psych-folk tendancies creep in – Native Tongue being the prime example, The PPC (it’s quicker to type…) draw in more, bits of Tame Impale here, little bits of indie rock / classic rock there, just a bit more ‘poppy’ at times. And that’s no bad thing.

Of the record, the band say “The original concept was to take a 1930’s carnival that had been re-imagined for future generations, a collage of Punch and Judy, carousels and coconut shy’s that progresses in musical concepts and travels with the listener. Then as we started traveling I was swept off into my own kind of circus, the odyssey of touring life. Large nights out, larger characters, drunken recollections of foreign cities and rabbit hole-ing into insanity (kindly illustrated by Quentin Blake)”

As such there’s a certain bewilderment with the music, which often is wide eyed and questioning, and more often than that, pulled in more direction than one by the subject matter. Social Candy and My Friends a Liquid both draw on freak-folk as much as they do psych, the latter especially given that extra few rays of sunshine with these layers of vocal harmonies, in amongst random school playground / bicycle bell noises which hit you like an aural cut out collage.

What the album does have though is consistency, there’s as much melody and inventiveness in the most obvious nod to the King Gizzard, the opener Keen for Kick ons, as there is in When in Rome, a hard blues/rock belter, as there is in the spiralling closer Dezi’s Adventure.

If anything sums up the record then it’s single Bill’s Mandolin. Sparkling and bursting with ideas, it’s an ode to an old instrument. Jack McEwan of the band says: “When we were in the U.K on our last tour I was given my Grandad’s old mandolin/lute thing which I remember playing as a kid. It was such a nice gift that I had to take back to Australia, the only problem was it didn’t have a case and we had an entire tour in front of us which spanned most of Western Europe plus Australia. I carried it through plenty of customs, slept with it, took it out to pubs, navigated the streets of Amsterdam and passed out with it. It became the tour emblem and once I got back to Perth I felt like I’d done the old girl justice. I wanted to write an Ode to Bill and the travels with the mandolin that summed up the tour and sounded as chaotic as the adventures that ensued.”

Chaotic, day-glo, full of ideas, all squeezed and wrestled into just (round about) 35 minutes. Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are on to something here.