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I’ve been monitoring the progress of Raccoo-oo-oon lads Shawn Reed and Ryan Garbes with interest as they have slowly dragged their fractured freak-psych lo-fi jam pop from its clumsily enthusiastic beginnings to the transcendent wonder which is contained on this here disc, on which they have raised their game and created a shimmering slab of wonky future pop which sounds timelessly great even to these cynical old ears.
A big part of the key to the step up they’ve taken on this album is the introduction of Justin Tye on bass, whose contribution is far from token, offering up super melodic, round, head-nodding basslines like a cross between Peter Hook and MB from Hookworms, joining sticksman Garbes in anchoring the tunes so that Reed can really let loose with the synths. What results is propulsive, psychedelic pop grooves that are completely, deliciously infectious, all topped with Reed’s deadpan, muddied vocal exclamations. Actually, on this record he’s reminding me of a cross between Lee Ranaldo and Damo Suzuki. He drifts in and out of tune a little bit in a way which some may find offputting but I think it suits the sound in an Ian Curtisy sort of way.
I’m getting genuinely excited listening to this. I love it when that happens. It’s great to see bands who consistently come up with the goods finally crystallise into something timelessly amazing like these guys have here. The artwork seems to mirror that taking-things-up-a-notch feeling, with Reed’s super distinctive cut-and-paste-and-doodle design style bursting into life in a rare full-colour sleeve. The music on here basically falls somewhere between the outsider DIY avant-pop of the likes of Ariel Pink and R Stevie Moore and the muddy post-romo psych-dirt dirge of the likes of Dirty Beaches or maybe even The KVB, but more than ever the emphasis is on cleverly structured, wonky, arranged psychedelic pop songs. This is bloody superb.
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