Say Psych: Album Review: Joe Ghatt – Banana Sludge

Australian label Third Eye Stimuli Records have this week ventured across the waters to release the debut LP from New Zealander Joe Ghatt, Banana Sludge. Originally from Nelson on South Island but now residing in Auckland, Ghatt has been performing and collaborating for the last few years with Kiwi psyhc rockers Arthur Ahbez and Kelvin Hurts but has decided to branch out and produce something of this own. For fans of The Babe Rainbow and Mystic Braves, and for anyone with a taste for 60s garage rock sound, this LP which was recorded straight to magnetic tape is a truly organic offering.

Opening with ‘While the Coffee Brews’, the short instrumental track is the perfect introduction for things to come, with a prominent organ riff leading the other instruments before leading into ‘Farewell’ which sets the tone. A strong nostalgia exudes from every element in this song and takes the listener on a walk to times past. ‘Any Old’ is appropriately named as it could easily have been recorded 40 years ago rather than in 2019 and blends sounds from country and western with conventional psychedelia to create something curious. Lead single ‘Seven Chakras’ is a piece of real feel good music that could just have easily been jammed out at Height-Ashbury and I think if you asked an audience whether it was an original piece or a modern one, they’d be hard pushed to tell you. Its dreamy countenance creates a soundscape of hazy summer days and pure relaxation. ‘Mammon’ features a full range of sounds including a good hand clap and tambourine duet and the repetition which builds in layers makes for a complex sound that its infectious. ‘Boy Dreams’ is The Beach Boys-esq and ‘Turn To Burn’ challenges you to not tap your feet with that guitar melody that really knows how to hook. Concluding with ‘Growing Cold’ he goes out on a high, with a beautifully haunting organ and guitar combination that sends shivers down the spine instantaneously.

Joe Ghatt maybe a new name to a lot of people, but with this stunning slice of nostalgia superbly executed in a modern style, he is unlikely to stay that way for long.

Buy it here

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