Frozen Planet....1969 - Electric Smokehouse (2017)
It's been a while since we've heard from the Australian giants in FP69, going back to last year's Lost Traveller Chronicles, Volume Two, so it was a delight to get notice of this new album's incoming release. Sure, it'll be just under a couple of weeks until the full thing is officially available (release date is January 11th, mark it down), but this one's good enough to deserve the advance notice.
In keeping with their previous material, there's a heavy psych rock base to the new album, and from the first track ("Ascendant"), the good times are a go, with soft-flanging guitar and swoops of gnarly feedback leading the way through rhythmic grooving and interludes of simply savoring the sweet tones. That free spirit carries on through the rest of the songs, hitting a fine point between unpredictability and sweeping listeners up in the momentum, warping sonic valleys and chill melodic cruises taken in stride.
In some of the giddier stretches, it's easy to imagine the band's members throwing quick grins at each other in their free moments while jamming away in the studio. There's a sense of immediacy and vibrant vitality to the tunes that seems far too uncommon in modern psych bands, let alone those of the heavier inclination. And no matter how wild things get, feeling like they're just about to rip free of the musicians' control, they careen it back on track or off into a new spin.
It's just a damn good album, one that manages to excite both in the moment and in thinking back over its whole form; it's also going to set an incredibly high bar for the rest of 2017's albums to meet.
For Fans Of; 13th Floor Elevators, Iron Butterfly (Ball-era), Salem's Pot, Terminal Cheesecake, ZQKMGDZ