Say Psych: Album Review, Create and Consume by The Love Dimension

The thing that strikes me about the opening to this album is how it manages to sound both hot and cold and the same time. There is an icey tingle infused by the warmth of the Californian sun as the West Coast melody kicks in. Thereafter, this opening track (the beginning of ‘Side X’), ‘And So Love Begins’, takes you on a trip, not only around the emotions, but around the many a varied influences of the San Franciscan five piece. There’s a whole lot of Love in there, there are the same sixties guitar licks that inspired The Buzzcocks in the late seventies, surely some Jefferson Airplane, and there is some surefire Doors keyboard in there too. This sets the tone for the rest of the album, released by Warrior Monk Records, suggesting that we could indeed be seeing the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, surely a key influence for the sumptuous melody for ‘Sure Get A Lot’, until it goes completely crazy at the end. And that’s one of the great things about this album, just when you think you are getting comfortable and drifting away in a haze of sun-drenched tunes something happens to grab you by the scruff of the neck and take you somewhere else completely. You need to think and enjoy. This, then, is an album that does not want to be taken for granted. It is in some places laid back and easy going (‘Who’s To Say’ and ‘Oh Beautiful Girl’), and in other places vibrant and visceral (‘Foggy City Blues’). But at all times you get a real sense of movement. This is a record that is going places, and will not rest until you arrive. Part of this is down to the rhythm section of bass and drums (and often organ) all the way through, but typically on ‘Inner Eye Insight’ which is a real highlight for me and, I am sure, a big hit when played live. The first track on ‘Side Y’ (do these map onto generations X & Y), ‘Down the 1010101’ takes us on a road trip down the information superhighway mixing together the excitement of traditional rock and blues riffs with Kraftwerkian keys and even some soul in there. It says to me that we are now in an age where genre hopping is the norm, but therein lies danger too. Both ‘Foggy City Blues’, which has the sort of intended chaos that I recently found on the new King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard album, and ‘Oh Beautiful Girl’ are reminiscent of San Francisco in very different ways. The former speaks for itself, while the latter could remind us of summer’s evening in Golden Gate Park or on Ocean Beach. ‘Have You Had Enough’ has the feeling of a minor classic in the making. It is a song with momentum, a song that makes you want to move, a song that energises you and leaves you in a heap on the floor afterwards. It is the sort of track that builds up a head of steam very quickly and just keeps on going. There is more packed into the few minutes that it takes to get to the breathless conclusion of this track than some bands put into a whole album. And then…just when you think everything has been said and done…the sitar and sci-fi electronics of the final track ‘Like The Feeling of the Sun’ kick in. This, for me, is the highlight of the album that kinda makes ‘Have You Had Enough’ seem merely three dimensional. Here is a song which seems to stretch back and forth in time, twisting the expectations and blowing the mind. I find this to be both a satisfying and challenging album, it is principally a commentary on our seeming dependence on consumerism. It is nostalgic, but also forward looking. It is a foggy soup of ideas, but it is also clear and concise. It blows hot and cold, but never feels luke warm. Official Website Bandcamp:  You can find more Psych Insights by Simon Delic here.

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