Tame Impala - Innerspeaker

A layered album that can withstand constant repeat plays and still offer something new is truly a rare treat.

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Released 24 Aug 2010 | Modular | By Martin Guttridge-Hewitt | Rating: 4
Tame Impala - Innerspeaker

Recording an album in a mansion with panoramic views over the Indian Ocean should provide artists with ample inspiration. From the addictive psychedelia on offer here, it clearly worked.

Things kick off with the filtered guitars of ‘It Isn’t Meant to Be’, and you could be forgiven for thinking you’d been transported back to the late 60s, or some intimate, hitherto unadvertised Flaming Lips concert. Not surprising then that the album was mixed by Dave Fridmann, whose back catalogue includes work with the American art-rockers and Brooklyn’s finest new school electronic indie kids, MGMT.

‘Alter Ego’, in contrast, forsakes the opening track’s floating on a cloud sensibility for a bluesy, rockier sounding drive time ethic that falls somewhere between The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys. Sketched roads stretch off into an imagined distance, punctuated by a drum section almost as heavy as the lead guitar riff, hooking you in and demanding at least a tap of the foot.

‘Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind’ and ‘Jeremy’s Storm’ both opt for a wall of sound, with the latter beating the former past the ‘best example of…’ post. Deflating electric pianos give way to a building vocal section before bass, rolling snare and head nodding kicks enter the fray.

The Who get a nod in the gritty, raw and wholly Southern Fried ‘The Bold Arrow of Time’. Three minutes and 47 seconds of spiralling electric solos and opiate soundscapes that defy their depth with a pace guaranteed to keep the dancefloor sweating until the final cymbals peak and the distorted guitars warm down.

A layered album that can withstand constant repeat plays and still offer something new is truly a rare treat. With their appropriately sun-kissed August release, Australia’s finest new export have come very close to achieving this.