Friday, June 15, 2007

Drinking in the Soma

I have this belief that we all are attracted to music that reflects our own inner metronome. As I lay here on my bed soaking in the album "Tastes Change" by The Honored Guests, I am feeling a oneness with their music. Russell Bagget’s soothing vocal style, song arrangement and tempos make this an absolutely sublime album. This Chapel Hill, NC band has rather convincingly created a fantastic collection of psychedelia-laced British pop songs.

For instance, on the song "Say You Will", they fill in the longer spaces between lyrics with accents of electric kool-aid acid trips. These instrumental moments between one lyric and the next, gives the music an ethereal feel that evokes a hazy hash den in Morocco. (No, I was not smoking a hookah when I was listening to this.) I do get this image of Whirling Dervishes with the trippy oscillating tempo of the guitar and drums. I don't mean to imply they are doing heavy-handed psychedelic space jams, because they are not. However, this element imparts their music with a much more exotic appeal than the typical Teutonic pop song and keeps the music interesting and fresh.

I am also enamored with the song "Summer Snow." Again it is a little psychedelic, but I am not seeing any whirling dervishes this time- it's subtle and gives the song texture. As I listened to it, I was really taken with it's portrayal of that unattainable love. The whirling guitar only adds to the uncertaintity of this relationship. He pleadingly sings, "just give me something good to look forward to." How rare it is, like the summer snow, to have that other person reciprocate.

There are a lot of really great songs on this album. At first listen, many will make an obvious comparison to the Flaming Lips and British Shoegazer bands. Overall, I found their music to be alluring with finely placed moments of psychedelia. More importantly, I can listen to this album over and over again. Nowadays, that is as rare as a snowshower in the middle of July.

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Breakfast Mascot Records