Wall of Death’s band name clashes pleasantly with their album title Loveland doesn’t it? The album title seems to have it here, with the record fitting comfortably into the warm and bright side of psych-rock as opposed to the crushing death-fuzz side. In fact, Loveland is a lush, gorgeous thing. Released on the Innovative Leisure label.
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Wall of Death are a French psychedlic trio. Right, now that we've got the introductions out of the way... oh, wait... Stack of vintage equipment? Check. Lashings of electric piano and farfisa organ? Check. Mellotron? Check. (Of course). You can see where this is going, can't you? Pink Floyd references? Well, yeah, actually. And a bit of the Beatles and the Doors and Tame Impala for good measure. Oh, and it's all produced by someone called Hanni El Khatib who happens to be a shit-hot guitarist and is, as it turns out, multi-talented. Who'd have guessed?
Opening two tracks are corkers - "Loveland" zips along in a psych-rock way; so does "For a Lover" but needs a touch more of that sweet, sweet Mellotron... "Mother Tongue" is a slow, languid number, so is "How Many Kinds" which is a sort of Temples/My Bloody Valentine hybrid; "Blow The Clouds" starts like a long-lost outtake from Cocteau Twins' celebrated "Heaven or Las Vegas" classic before those heavy drums, keys and psych guitar kick in. Have I mentioned the vocalist yet? He's great. He sound a bit like a slightly more Gallic Steve Mason. The album is filled to the brim with very good songs - so there's a recommendation, if you like that sort of thing. "All Mighty" is all drifty and will have you swaying along and maybe even tapping a foot, it's pretty good.
Hand on heart, I cannot fault any of the songs; save to say that it's all a bit formulaic and predictable. And "Chainless Man" is really, really Doors-y. Then it takes a Radiohead-ish turn. Then it gets all loud and fuzzy again. I quite like it - you might too - I just don't love it.
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