Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Kevin Parker and Dominic Simper have been hunkered down in Australia making music for more than a decade, so it’s impressive how much their band Tame Impala has grown in the relatively short space between the release of its second, self-titled EP, and the churning psych-rock freak-out that is Innerspeaker. The same elements are at play on both recordings: Parker’s narcoleptic John Lennon sermonizing, and laser-beam guitars that defy physics by queasily bending instead of refracting. But here, the power trio dials back the Cream stomp and melts the bass and drums into a sludgy puddle of groove so viscous that the album feels completely of a piece, like a slab of tarmac softening in the sun. As with My Bloody Valentine lyrics, Parker’s probably shouldn’t be put under too much scrutiny. When he petulantly moans “You’ll never come close to how I feel” on “Solitude Is Bliss,” it’s best to just take his word for it and enjoy standout tracks like “Make Up Your Mind” and “Runaway, Houses, City, Clouds,” which evoke the stellar first half of Dungen’s Ta Det Lugnt in their embrace of cosmic, crackling riffs and otherworldly vocal melodies that are as transportive as they are tuneful.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter