Review Summary: A stellar foray into the past from a band with just as much skill as the geniuses before them.
A significantly large proportion of musically-aware adolescent males go through the 'classic rock stage.' You know, the one in which they dust off their parents' records and educate themselves in where rock n' roll all began. Personally, I'd spent years mentally laughing at a friend who found himself entrenched in this phase, until I too caught the same disease. Tame Impala guitarist, vocalist and everything-else-ist Kevin Parker once suggested in an interview that this stage of life was probably just as much about finding a sense of identity as it was about the music.
But Parker, unlike the majority of teens who get swept up in this point of musical development combined with self-discovery, has discovered within himself that he possesses the ability to construct songs that definitely hold up well against the still well-revered tracks of the past. Opener Desire Be Desire Go
begins with a nothing guitar lick, leading into a fading-in drum beat which kick-starts the track. It's an apt example of how Tame Impala don't take themselves too seriously, reminiscent of Hendrix's flippant, nonchalant approach to his music. The chorus is a highlight on the EP, as Parker questions the point of participating in the daily grind of the world, 'Everyday/Back and forth/What's it for"/Back and forth/Everyday.' The latter half of the solo is a prime example of how sparse some moments of the EP are, as Parker is obviously well-attuned to the phrase 'less is more.'
continues in the same manner as the previous song, as the guitar is heavily focused-upon to dictate the song, with vocals minimal yet interest remaining high. Now 'high' here is a word that holds special significance to thie sound of Tame Impala. I'll let you figure out exactly why.
EP highlight Half Full Glass Of Wine
does an Arcade Fire early on, as it changes tempo from a frantic drum beat to an excessively-simple riff that you'll never forget. Lyrically, it's about turning to alcohol after his woman neglects him, comically suggesting that the glass is still half-full. But then, you don't listen to this band for their lyrical content. You listen to this band for their adroit manipulation of sound. And perhaps also for their willingness to end a song in the manner with which they conclude HFGoW. Truly, it's breathtaking, bizarre and hilarious all at the same time.
Parker's mastery of all sounds guitar-related is on full show in the brilliantly-named 41 Mosquitoes Flying In Formation
, as he manages to perfectly imitate the buzz of the malaria-carriers while lacing the song with a beat that certainly connotes the sound of an army marching forward. Closer Slide Through My Fingers
sounds vocally more like John Lennon than perhaps any other piece of music not sung by the great man himself, as it somehow manages to fuse an Indian sound with the psychedelic tone that frames the entire EP. This is a stellar foray into the past from a band with just as much skill as the geniuses before them.