Oh good, we’ve already reached the fucking Tame Impala portion of the project. Which, considering the Toronto bars I get drunk and likely end up using Shazam in, we should at least be thankful doesn’t encompass too many more of these. (Or, at least, I don’t imagine I’ve used Shazam for Tame Impala songs fifteen separate times. Maybe!)
But the thing is: I kinda have time for this band. Even taking into account how many fucking times I’ve heard Elephant. Lonerism is a pretty decent record, and this might even be better. And, in point of fact, this song might even be pretty great if not for the HEY GUYS WE’RE DOING LIKE THE BEATLES!!! part.
I mean, I can swallow a lot of aping. Music is built on it. But just like how John Lennon doing a 12-bar blues is fucking interminable, your Ringo-drummed, layers-of-echoed-vocals-cascading-into-the-void, I Am The Walrus thing is, too.
Or is it an end-of-Come-Together thing? Either way, bro, you’ve got to feather that shit! Don’t horse it!
And this guy tends to horse it a biiiiiiit too much for me some times, and especially in that section.
Can I really fault him for his vocal cadence? Yes, actually! And the effects and double tracking he does, too! For shit sakes, man, maybe try a little harder to not ring those bells.
But it works. And I can’t lie here. There’s an incredible kind of lo-fi warmth that Kevin Parker harnesses that I find it pretty hard not to get into. There’s some cool, cosmic sounding classic analog psych stuff going on here — and probably as much of The Flaming Lips (minus the wiener indie pop vibe) as there is the Beatles. Production-wise the fuzz tones and humps of near-feedback from the guitars are pretty damn close to perfect, things like the little egg shaker in the middle section are tasty details in a song full of them, and Desire Be Desire Go is just a damn tight, chugging groove — or at least the non-embarrassing elements of it are.
There’s more: the guitar solo section is fun, and there’s just a basic humanness to it. Surely there are loops and machine flourishes in this song and their others, but it usually feels like somebody was really physically playing it — playing everything, not just programming it. More of that from everyone, please! There is definitely an uncanny valley of electronic sound that tracks can fall into, and this one feels like it made it unscathed to the other side.
I don’t know if this track has the substance to keep me coming back to it, and the middle excursion maybe shows a lack of maturity from a young songwriter who flew too close to his influences, but fuck you, it’s pretty great. There’s a reason this band is a thing, and I’m pretty sure this is it.
And honesty, if the complaint about your too-Beatles-sounding thing is that it sounds a bit too much like it’s trying really hard to sound like the Beatles, and not that it sounds like the Beatles if they sucked, that’s actually kind of amazing. Provided we’re not talking about it sounding like Abbey Road or anything written by fucking Paul.
Of course, if I wanted some electro-Beatles, there is — with apologies to Marty Gold — only one place to turn…