Keeping in line with our post yesterday, highlighting what we believe to be the ten best psychedelic rock albums of all time, I decided to cull a few choice nuggets from my personal library and say a few words. Seeing as our list of albums yesterday stuck mostly to the classics (and understandably so), I decided to keep most of the tracks on here a bit more modern. In a bit of a hurry today, so I’ll let you get right to the action. Enjoy.
Kurt Vile – “Wakin on a Pretty Day”
Todd, Wes, and I had a little text conversation yesterday about Kurt Vile’s new album, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, and while we couldn’t decide whether it was superior to his previous release (Smoke Ring For My Halo), we all agreed its pretty damn good. Album opener, “Wakin on a Pretty Day”, to me, shows Vile is becoming completely comfortable in his strengths and abilities. And unlike many of the bands that are harkening back to another time that are much-lauded today, I feel Vile alludes to his influences more than mimics them.
The War on Drugs – “Come to the City”
Kurt Vile’s former band, The War on Drugs, somehow became stronger once he left to pursue his solo career. Their 2011 album, Slave Ambient, was a slow burn for me. It took my roommate listening to it all the time for me to finally be like, “Yeah, I really like this”. “Come to the City” is almost like an early u2 song (think “Where the Streets Have No Name” or “Sunday Bloody Sunday”), and everyone knows that’s the only redeeming era of U2.
Fruit Bats – “Tony the Tripper”
Fruit Bats have evolved beautifully from their folk-roots beginnings into a band focused on much more progressive song structures. “Tony the Tripper” is a song that gently intensifies while adding layer upon layer of atmospherics to the simple acoustic base. It is the perfect beginning to their 2011 album, Tripper, which further established Fruit Bats as a name to watch on the Indie scene.
Butthole Surfers – “Pepper”
90’s luminaries, Butthole Surfers, created such albums as Electric Larryland, Independent Worm Saloon, and Rembrandt Pussyhorse. Suffice it to say, they’ve never taken themselves too seriously, despite being one of the few artists to push the limits of psyche-rock for that era. Much of their work can be termed as “psyche-punk”, but their on big hit, “Pepper”, is a more laid-back talk-track with beautiful distorted guitar and hip-hop-esque beats throughout. I will always love this track.
Moby Grape – “Indifference”
Most of the other entries on this list are pretty modern, so lets go way back for the finale. Moby Grape is basically The Grateful Dead in an alternate universe. Forget the issues of longevity, poor creative choices, and the iconic frontman, and you have a band every bit as awesome as The Dead. Why Moby Grapes eponymous debut album isn’t every bit as acclaimed or talked about as American Beauty or Workingman’s Dead is a crime, and “Indifference” is a testament to that.