Say Psych: Album Review, Junkyard Liberty – Chains

Appearing from the French undergrowth, Junkyard Liberty are a a psychedelic folk rock six-piece who draw deeply from the likes of Jefferson Airplane, The Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan and Buddy Holly and are the fifth band thrust forth from Wrong Way Records.

With a politically loaded name which will resonate in these times we are living, they were born out of the partnership of songwriters David Fitzgerald (a founding member of The Telecopes) and Alban Hajduk; after two years evolving their sound in the studio, the live band came to be with the addition of Manon Blanchard – vocals, Louis Lalevee – drums, Mathis Duboijarry – bass and Lucie Lacou – violin. With a large live following in France, this album is hotly anticipated and certain not to disappoint.

Chains, the band’s debut LP, was released on 11th November on limited edition blood red vinyl, a thing of beauty which is becoming synonymous with Wrong Way Records.

Comprised of ten tracks, opener ‘Lvin’ Time’ is a slowly rising melodic piece with harmonic vocals and a haunting violin composition; this is the perfect track to ease you into the mood for what’s to come before the painfully beautiful ‘Crazy Bones’ arrives. With its plucked guitar riff opening and soothing vocal accompaniment, this track waltzes along gracefully to the beat of its own drum. If there is any way to showcase your abilities, it’s with a stunning track like this.

‘Velvet Eyes’ picks up the pace with a bouncy drum beat driving the tempo and channelling more than a hint of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. ‘Vacancy’ continues the up-tempo theme with its graduated opening bars before ‘Let It Go’ calms things significantly.

Title track ‘Chains’ places emphasis on the vocals of Manon and they are accompanied by a hypnotic, soothing melody which lulls the listener gently. ‘You Blew My Soul Away’ induces a dream like state and its sorrowful tone induces more than a hint of melancholia, whilst remaining beautiful. ‘Hide Away’ has a vintage guitar riff as its core with an edgy vocal addition and feeds vibes from ‘Plastic Fantastic Lover’, Jefferson Airplane if you listen closely – to magnificent effect it must be added.

‘Hey!’ is complex in its makeup and showcases the skills of this set of musicians before concluding track ‘Soul Fragrance’ mellows out the LP with its eerie and provocative stance, bringing the album to a natural close.

France has become a real hive of psychedelic activity of late and this LP will mark their presence and ensure they do not go unnoticed.

Order the vinyl here:


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