Tame Impala – Lonerism album review

Western Australia’s Tame Impala offer the following opening line on their website’s bio page: “Tame Impala is the movement in Orion’s nebula and the slime from a snail journeying across a footpath.” With that nugget of information in mind, it should come as no surprise that 2012’s Loverism seems to operate on a completely different wavelength than many other modern rock bands.

Having already supported the likes of The Black Keys and MGMT on tours and successfully placing high on the ARIA charts with their 2010 debut, Innerspeaker, Tame Impala are poised to spread their influence across the Pacific and beyond with an excellent sophomore album.

Brandishing tracks bearing titles such as “Apocalypse Dreams” and “Mind Mischief,” Tame Impala accompany their neo-psychedelic pop rock with lofty ideals and colorful landscapes of noise. Lonerism combines the glory of the Wall of Sound first pioneered by Phil Spector in the 1960’s with the quirky video games noises of The Flaming Lips circa 2002’s Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. The result is a kaleidoscopic orgy of sonic sensations that is experimental, yet still as accessible as anything The Jimi Hendrix Experience ever released.

The band’s frequency shifts and alternates throughout; at times they’re laid back and mellow before speeding up the proceedings with a rebellious energy that creates lively arcs in the tone of record, from one song to the next.

For example, the first single, “Elephant,” is a chunky piece of gloom rock perfect for a motorcycle gang joyride. Meanwhile, on “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” one of the standout tracks and the next upcoming single, Tame Impala have created a summery, melodic jewel of a pop song that simultaneously hums and haunts its way into the listener’s heart.

By the time the final song, the solemn, piano driven “Sun’s Coming Up,” signals the close of the Lonerism, it has become clear that the band with the antelope name have created something special. Although steeped in the nostalgic sound of bygone eras inhabited by vibrant characters such as the Beat Poets and Andy Warhol, Lonerism is actually a sign of a highly talented band ready to move forward and make their mark in the present.

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