Tame Impala - Innerspeaker (Modular)

Debut record from Australia's newsest psych rockers succeeds in justifying tongues-a-wagging.

Released Aug 23rd, 2010 via Modular / By Norman Miller
Tame Impala - Innerspeaker (Modular) There’s a fair buzz around this debut album from the Aussie psych rockers but most of it seems justified. Not that originality oozes from the 11 tracks here - it’s more a case of youthful gusto, knowing what to do with your influences and some sharp song construction.

Recording as a three-piece - Kevin Parker (guitars, drums, main vocals), Jay Watson (drums, keyboards, vocals) and Dom Simper (guitar, synths) - the trio have taken late 60s psychedelia and 80s Manc baggy and given it the sort of individualistic spin you’d expect from guys working out of the most isolated city on Earth (Perth). And once you untangle the track listing (both sleeve and online listings are just wrong), the brilliance/banality ratio is admirably weighted the right side.

While the influences are there to see, they’re woven into mesmerising patterns, with tracks often artfully mixing styles - slows blues, garage rock and hazy harmonics on 'Bold Arrow Of Time', psyche-drenched guitar with perfectly-timed keyboard surges on 'Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?' and the multi-layered magnificence of 'Expectation' where Parker‘s sweet vocal surfs over staccato riffs.

Two of the best tracks see the band getting dirtier on the guitars - the gorgeous grind of 'Lucidity', and 'Desire Be' with its luscious slabs of psych rock cut with spacey interludes that echo the Beatles’ early druggy forays circa 66/67. There’s variation too, with the bubblegum trip-pop of 'I Don’t Really Mind' and the sweetly lolling 'It’s Not Meant To Be'.

If there’s a downside it’s a tendency to over-indulge those trippy grooves, but only a couple of tracks - the aimless 'Altar Ego' and 'Runway, Houses, City, Clouds' - get you jabbing the forward button on this otherwise excellent debut.