These psych freaks are named like a solo artist but make their noise as a bunch of plural. In 2015 they released arguably their most expansive record yet, a noodling monolith of tight rhythms and paths less travelled. They follow it up with Mind Minerals, an attempt at upgrading artistic impressions of futurism that's proudly labelled "3001: A Space Odyssey". We're told the drums are really good; we kinda knew that already.
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The truth at the heart of the matter is that if I listened to this whole Carlton Melton record right now I’d have chewed up a good hour plus of my work day, and also would be incapable of doing anything outside of the rhythm of particular, churning drumbeats. As such I’m giving ‘Mind Minerals’ a primer. To call it the band’s most expansive work yet feels like folly when they’ve given us ‘Out to Sea’, but it goes a step further in that direction, incorporating laserbeam Juno synths and extra flourishes of guitar to bring the whole thing onto an even busier course.
Even while attempting to shoot futurism through their grounded sound, Carlton Melton sound the well oiled rock outfit we expect them to be -- tricks worm their way into corners like “Eternal Returns”, where they fake out liftoff before turning off the anti-gravity and returning to wahing guitars over steady percussion. The hilariously titled “A Basketful of Trumpets” is a lovely example of their restrained noodling, focusing deep on rich guitar fumblings as shaken drums and synth glare deposit the song into a crater of the moon. For a band of the usual wilt-and-wander psychedelic doings, there are always moments with Carlton Melton that feel resolute and startling -- the guitar work on this one is the loveliest example.
So much more to dig into here, and I’m excited to whittle away some personal time with it -- “Way Back When” is pure emo-psych with the washiness of ‘Cryptograms’ era Deerhunter and bass drone spook, so I need to hear it again. For now, though, I’ll leave the bliss-outs to you folks.
And seriously: “A Basketful of Trumpets”. Who has one of those?
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- Mind Minerals by Carlton Melton
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