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Review: Psychic Lemon - 's/t' (Released March 4, 2016)

Storming out of a small studio in the back of a garden in Cambridge, UK, the four-piece unit Psychic Lemon have released certainly one of the most kick-ass amazing psychedelic records I’ve so far heard this year. It’s all the more remarkable being that the self-titled album is the band’s debut.

Band members Andrew Briston (guitar, vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar), Andrew Hibberd (bass), George Horler (guitar, vocals, slide guitar), and Martin Law (drums, percussion) play with breathtaking energy and top-notch chops, but never let it get too overly slick sounding, maintaining the raw energy of live music. And while citing influences such as Syd Barrett, The Heads, Goat, and Amon Duul II, they really have created their own sound here, one that eschews the trendy slower, sludgier sonic textures of stoner psychedelia in favour of a more tightly wound, upbeat, trippy and melodic sound befitting of their influences without mimicking them.

Opening track, Tiktok, begins with analogue space synth drones and whooshes, but quickly launches into a rhythmic storm of psychedelic greatness. The icing on the cake is when guest Dan Ellis comes in on flute towards the end really setting the song on fire. Ellis contributes flute to most of the tracks on the album, and is very notable on Death Cult Blues, my favourite track, where his instrument takes the lead melody in one of the most memorable riffs on the album. From hallucinatory, pastoral excursions like Analogue Summer, reminiscent of early Floyd, to space rock journeys like Dilator to the 10-minute epic Horizon, which somehow manages to meld all their influences into one spectacular album closer, this self-titled debut is a winner from start to finish.

Psychic Lemon really blew me away with its very cool, beautiful, earthy and mystical cover art and of course the amazing grooves behind that cover on this outstanding album. This will easily be, I think, one of the top albums of 2016.

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