I KNOW, I know. You’ve got an aural itch you just need to scratch, right?
You want psych. But aah … that’s nearly hit the spot, but … OK, maybe not just psych. Loose and ragged, unafraid to let it all hang out; the edges fuzzing and bleeding.
Hmmm. I’ve got just the thing, comin’ right up: Clouds Taste Metallic, by The Flaming Lips?
Closer, you say. But not quite … itchin’ that itch. Multicolour, full-spectrum. Weeerd. Spacey. Slinky and shifting like mercury on a tilting table. Imagine if Kim Gordon made an album with Ariel Pink or Deerhunter, and they actually turned the reverb up furthur. Maybe a little bit of that Sung Tongs-era Animal Collective tribal chant. Just a little teensy bit of Brightblack Morning Light in the call and response. Black Moth Super Rainbow sorta pretty delirium. Messy. Gloriously, unashamedly, powerfully, brilliantly messy mind music. Oh, but if they fancy a little paisley pop, that too. But still fed through an entire Bond-villain HQ of delay.
Christ on a bike, you don’t ask much, do you?
Well, ladies and gentleman, here’s the thing. I may just have found you the perfect balm. I give you the second album from Salt Lake City’s Muzzle Tung, Gannet, which the band are premiering here with us today. It’s all there; take a listen with us. Scope out that artwork; you know it ain’t gonna let you down.
It’s maybe not something you expect from Utah, the state that gave us … well, The Osmonds (“Crazy Horses” notwithstanding). To those of us this side of the pond, it’s kinda refreshing to hear that Salt Lake City, as well as being a dry city with a commitment to order and observance, actually has a thriving and healthy underground of “ freaks, anarchists and rabble-rousers that set the city’s blood to boil” – all playing into that trippy sound, that hallucinatory, coming around from ether in a dreamscape vibe.
It’s something of a turning towards the light from their 2016 debut, Administration, with shafts of light burrowing into the scented smoke of their melodies, curling into your nose as a bewitching fug.
Let’s introduce them. The creative core of Muzzle Tung is vocalist and synthesiser subverter Geoffrey Leonard and singer-guitarist Karley Parker. For Gannet, they’ve brought Dyana Durfee, of Foster Body, and Seth Pulver, of 7feathers Rainwater, in to flesh out the vision.
Geoffrey says: “On our first record, there was a lot of hard-drive and junk sculpture lyrics.
“While writing and recording Gannet we found that our line-up was more frequently feeding back and reiterating through a pop lens. The group dynamic took ‘Tarry By The River’, what was in my mind a goth shredder, and morphed [it] into a fucked-up country love song.
“On songs like ‘VF Blue’ and ‘Cerveza Spring’ I realised that I didn’t have to dissect my emotions, feelings, and perspectives as much to achieve a ‘stop-making-sense’ mindset.”
Oh, with a subtle nod to the homespun eccentricity of Wayne Coyne’s Christmas On Mars, Gannet also comes accompanied by a four-part YouTube miniseries called Technicians, in which a mysterious alien entity (natch) uploads their consciousness into a retro-futurist neural net. It’s absurdist and will whet the whistle of any Mike Kuchar fan. Watch episodes 1, 2 and 3.
My work here is done. Time to listen.
Oh, Gannet is released on digital and vinyl formats tomorrow, September 4th; click a mouse, tap a digit to embrace it, here.