Stealing, emulating, even sounding exactly like the past is nothing new in music. Indeed, today music seems to be challenging remake-addicted Hollywood to bring back the past, with everything from nineties alt-reunions to eighties Anglo New Wave to seventies disco to fifties garage-rock all coming back, especially that last one. But if you’re gonna copy, copy from the best, which is why, amidst all the revived sounds, it’s still rather refreshing to hear Australia’s Tame Impala on debut Innerspeaker ape the late sixties psych of the greatest band in rock ‘n’ roll, The Beatles.
While the current garage-rock revival comes from the heart of indie-dom, Brooklyn, Tame Impala hail from the most isolated city in the world, Perth, in Western Australia. Yet Innerspeaker feels like late period Liverpudlian psychedelica, high and charming, right from the get-go with opener “It Is Not Meant To Be”. Admittedly, the revived sound gets a little less interesting as it goes on, such as with simpler tracks like “Alter Ego” and “Lucidity” in the first half, but then middle piece/single “Solitude Is Bliss” hits just the right level of Beatles-psych in a wonderful throwback.
Tame Impala aren’t entirely one-note, and expand themselves for better & worse in the back side of Innerspeaker. Following the psych instrumental “Jeremy’s Storm”, “Expectations” reaches past their Beatles-psych inspiration in height and width. However, subsequent “The Bold Arrow of Time” goes away from their strength in a dirt-grind press that is ill mixed with psychedelica that appears to be trying to make up for excursion by going over-psych. And the enjoyable finish “I Don’t Really Mind” is marred by a misplaced grand synth in the middle.
Amid the overdone fifties garage-rock revival & over-hyped seventies psych-guitar revival, a few smaller bands have been hewing to the Fab Four, such as The Beets or The Black Hollies (QRO live review), but really not enough. Considering that The Beatles are the undisputed greatest band in rock ‘n’ roll, it’s kind of surprising there aren’t more acts out there like Tame Impala.
MP3 Stream: “Solitude Is Bliss”