Out To Sea by Carlton Melton sees the band growing their psychedelic palette with a thundering rhythm section, cosmic guitar riffs, searing solos and analog synth action wrapped in an ethereal prog bubble. Fans of The Heads, Parson Sound, Bardo Pond and Faust, among others will dig this. It's pressed on double coloured vinyl too!
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On ‘Out To Sea’ there are few, if any surprises, because psych rock is a creature of habits. Over eleven tunes, Carlton Melton continue to do what they do rather fucking adequately, swirling their guitars around and around like they’re caught in slow-mo rapids. When we last checked in with them on their split with Kandodo 3, they were crafting a stargazing type of space psych, and it sounded unfathomably precise; here they have the same knack for remedying their meandering solos with perfect measurements of tempo, slowing down for full hallucinogenic effect while keeping the rhythms of the galaxy nice and consistent.
Carlton Melton sound rather classic; they’ve always recalled the hard-edged psych blight of the Heads, and wah’d their way to the kind of victories ‘90s outfit Bardo Pond achieve. That’s heard in many of the records more stoner-ified jams, but ‘Out To Sea’ offers a softer, more contemplative Carlton, a verion of the band we often see but rarely get to welcome in. Much like “Footprints” on their recent split, “Diamond In The Rough” focuses on shy, gently fracturing guitar and a warm, untouched bassline. The song drags its feet for seven odd minutes, showing that Carlton know how to really describe space through sound: through emptiness.
The record largely exists in throes of long stay distortion, ample feedback and wobbly guitar being held back by the reigns (drums) -- but ‘Out To Sea’ is a reassuring example of a psych band who seek to weave a narrative for their listener rather than merely string them along to the end of the universe. Good cosmic tour guides, these guys.
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