The Living Eyes
The Saints have come back and are marching in, but Australia’s The Living Eyes don’t wanna be in that number, they wanna do their own number. And that number isn’t the D4, erstwhile and ersatz garage punks. This lot sure as hell know their product and they totally own it. In fact they sell it hard. While Tame Impala and Pond do the hippy dippy do, with thousand yard stares and degrees in distortion, The Living Eyes combine the song writing sass of The Clean with the bare knuckle vigour of The Hard Ons. And if King Gizzard did garage psych, this lot do garage psycho. Less likely to hit the superfuzz pedal than do a super big piddle on your shoes.
As you might imagine from the title this is a party record, and one which Andrew WK the professional party idiot might approve. Hooky as hell, it recalls compatriot’s Eddy Current Surpression Ring, and last year’s excellent Meatbodies album, and wouldn’t be out of place in San Francisco or on Castle Face, In The Red or Goner Records. But in fact they’re on Agitated Records. This is their second album but their first was put out on bandleader Billy Gardner’s own Antifade records, a man staking his claim as a Melbourne Ty Segall by also playing in bands enticingly called Ausmuteants and Wet Blankets.
Stand-out and hair on neck stand up song ‘Guilty Pleasures’ starts off like Adam & The Ants’ ‘Antmusic’, goes all Dick Dale and ends up like The Damned before dying abruptly in a brick wall of feedback. I won’t pretend that this is high-brow, in fact it’s more like deep set monobrow but it’s one furrow that I don’t mind ploughing.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
I’m In Your Mind Fuzz
Ok, just checking, we’ve all got over guffawing about the band’s name, right? We can just listen to the music, yeah? Cool. And you know what lies beneath the surface belies the goofiness. Roger Daltrey could see for miles and miles, but if he was standing in the Australian outback, home-ish to King Gizzard & The you know the rest, he could see even further and let me tell you, he’d (probably) be psyched by I’m In Your Mind Fuzz. King Gizzard probably couldn’t give a XXXX (ask your rowdy dad).
Like Thee Oh Sees, once this locks into a groove it doesn’t let go, like a dingo with a steak in his molars, and it doesn’t get more John Dwyer than on the song ‘Am I In Heaven?’
It’s unorthodox to have a seven piece band, but unsurprising given the intense blast of sonic thrust, particularly on the first four songs which come on like a suite. There are no gaps, just movements, and unerring ones at that, I haven’t heard such an explosive first half to a record since Fits by White Denim. The songs hang together so well they even only have slight variations in the titles – ‘I’m In Your Mind’, ‘I’m Not In Your Mind’ and ‘I’m In Your Mind Fuzz’ only held apart by a thin layer of a song named ‘Cellophane’. They also have a sense of humour as their skittish diversion into ‘The Streets of Cairo’ (otherwise known as the Snake Charmer song) demonstrates with venomous aplomb.
After the desert storm come slower, more psychedelic tropes, still with an Eastern mystic charm – think Jonathan Richman ‘Egyptian Reggae’ meets Tame Impala, except this is less tame than an impala, more like a disturbed rattler. A latecomer to this year’s garage party, I’m In Your Mind Fuzz will definitely still be on the mind come the New Year no matter how fuzzy you’re feeling.