Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - And Now For The Whatchamacallit — Sungenre Review
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Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – And Now For The Whatchamacallit

Those looking for promiscuous breakfast foods on hallucinogens, unfortunately, you have been gravely misled. For the uninitiated, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are in fact a four-piece rock outfit from Western Australia. The western state is no stranger to psychedelic groups, a sound that is quickly becoming synonymous with the largest state in Australia. Heavy hitting artists like Tame Impala and Pond have led the way for others to embrace the bizarre, mind-bending genre and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are hot on their heels, not withholding any punches as they serve up huge riff-laden walls of expansive noise on their latest offering, And Now For The Whatchamacallit. Hailing from the countryside outside of Perth where they have honed their craft in elongated jam sessions and even longer house parties, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets return as a tour de force of spacious musical expression.

The album’s name is a surprisingly appropriate choice as it nicely captures the mindset that most of the record is centred around, that of losing oneself in partying, drinking and all-round debauchery. The trickster themes are not dissimilar to Arctic Monkeys’ debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006), with hyperbolic stories of nights out, unending parties and girls. This is clearly an album written by fun-loving young adult men, which can be relatable and impressive for some and alienating and juvenile for others. Regardless of either perception, it is an album of powerful riffs, huge fuzzy guitars and up-tempo intensity.

Album opener and one of the four singles released, “Keen For Kick Ons?” asks that existential question that everyone who has ever found themselves at 4 A.M. outside of a bar has been asked; “I’m gonna go and get a taxi with my friends, are you keen for kick ons?” Fully embracing their lifestyle in an unapologetic way, singer and guitarist Jack McEwan screeches his way through a fast-paced drunken seduction of a purple haired girl with as much drunken charm as he can muster – “I’m living rough but you’re worth a shout.” This is a fun and energetic number and will definitely appeal to the twenty-somethings in the crowd.

The latest single “Bill’s Mandolin” is a fuzzy circus of enthusiasm. The melody and multiple vocal techniques from McEwan are standouts on this song, alternating from upper-register falsetto to throat-shredding screaming. The pulse is electrifying, thrusting the listener forward like some sadistic psychotropic carnival ride. This song demonstrates a diversity in the songwriting with a variety of sections that interact and complement each other to create an exhilarating rollercoaster of rhythm and melody.

Transitioning out of the previous track with a very Arctic Monkeys-inspired jam, “Hymn For A Droid” is again, another side to Psychedelic Porn Crumpets that establishes that they are more sophisticated than a simple wall of unrefined noise. The intensity has not waned, but the stripping back and layering on creates a contrast and nuance that is not always seen in backyard party rock and roll. Cleverly woven parts make this song another exciting addition to the record.

“Fields, Woods, Time” is a settling interlude between tracks that resets the mood with lush strings, gentle guitar finger picking and graceful slides. It demonstrates the band’s ability to write lovely music, even if for only a short time. What this song does do is set up for track five, “Native Tongue” which is a continuation of the ideas from the previous track, but developed into the typical sound displayed on the rest of the record. This is a bridging between the serene guitar work and the brash and forceful songwriting, further indicating the breadth of this album. Heavily filtered vocals and reverb-delayed guitars create an almost Radiohead-style soundscape but it never strays too far from the original sound of the record.

This brief breakaway is well and truly put to rest in “Social Candy”, which sees the return of large fuzzy guitars that follow and compliment a vocal line at times very much reminiscent of The Beatles’ “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” (1967) to generate a full and intense sound. The big choruses come back in full force with aggressive vocals and guitars. Heavy riffs are in good supply with a variety of ideas playing off each other.

The single is followed by the very tongue-in-cheek “My Friend’s A Liquid”. Bringing back the circus feel, this number is jaunty and bounces along with a big old smile on its face. From the Hollywood fanfare introduction to the whimsical lyrics of McEwan; “My world is beautiful. Today I watched a leaf float, twirl, spiral down,” this song doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it works amongst the heavier tracks, such as the brutal “When In Rome”. This song is a perfect union of the huge searing riffs that have become synonymous with this album and the jam mentality that Psychedelic Porn Crumpets pride themselves on.

In contrast to this is “Digital Hunger”, which sees the Crumpets dip their hand into an eclectic, electronic jazz-style jam. Despite being uncharacteristically different to the rest of the record, this instrumental is a standout in the sense that it showcases the band’s ability to transcend genres whilst still sticking close to their messy psychedelic roots. The album rounds out with the lo-fi and appropriately named “Dezi’s Adventure”. Sounding like a combination of Tame Impala and The Beatles, this song leaves the impression of a delirious escapade through a bizarre wonderland. It is bright yet sinister with a bouncing ‘calliope’ carnival sound, further referencing some earlier stylistic choices.

Defying what could easily be a reflex notion to dismiss the four-piece as a group of self-entitled party-boys with a gimmicky name, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have produced a record that is engaging, exciting and thoroughly immersive. They have taken a classic sound and pushed it to its breaking point, and then pushed that one step further. Each song flows into the next so, stylistically, there is never an abrupt and jarring change. And Now For The Whatchamacallit is a glimpse into the lives that so many of us are looking to live, an invitation to come and party with a raucous and lively crowd, all night and day.