Tame Impala – Innerspeaker (2010) review

May 26, 2013

Tame Impala – Innerspeaker (2010) review

Tame Impala “Innerspeaker” (Modular, 2010)

Innerspeaker is the award-winning debut
album from Tame Impala, the nom de group of Perth multi-instrumentalist, Kevin
Parker. It’s a gorgeous collection of sunny day reflective songs, with swashes
of swirling guitars, psychedelic effects, and dreamy vocals. Opener “It Is Not
Be” is Revolveresque pop at its best, but then Parker breaks out the fuzz
distortion pedals for the garagey “Desire Be Desire Go”. It’s like leapfrogging
from Olivia Tremor Control to Flaming Lips, but before our brains have time to regain
our musical perspective, “Alter Ego” strolls through the room with a dose of
sunshiny, West Coast pop with hints of
the perky power pop of fellow Aussie solo artist Donny McDonald.
faraway vocals form the heartbreaking plea at the core of the melancholic “Why
Don’t You Make Up Your Mind”, but spirits are lifted on the ensuing,
Barrett-influenced “Solitude Is Bliss” and the glistening guitar opening to
“Jeremy’s Storm” belies the brewing chaos within (complete with swelling wind
effects and manic drumming) that eventually explodes into a current of guitar
shredding that is equal parts prog, Hawkwind, and post rock guitarscapes, a la
One of Innerspeaker’s many charms is the
variety of approaches Parker successfully pulls off, none more jarring than the
stalking, bluesy swagger of the near-metallic “The Bold Arrow Of Time”, which
sounds like Cream on steroids. It’s a little half baked and almost seems like
it hasn’t progressed past demo form (everything stops for a moment while Parker
counts his way back into the main riff and then he switches the whole mood with
an atmospheric coda that prepares the listener for the ensuing, “Runway,
Houses, City, Clouds”. As it’s multi-part title suggests, this suite runs the
gamut of emotions and musical styles, from the quietly ascending opening salvo
that lifts the listener heavenward to the meandering, Tangerine Dream-inspired,
synth-driven central part representing our floating journey around the island
to view the tiny “houses and cities” below, and culminating in the Floydian
finale, as we tickle the “clouds”.
been making music in one for or another for more than half his 26 years and
brings all his influences (from Rage Against the Machine and Cream to The
Beatles and Brainticket) to bear on this inspiring debut, which deservedly won
Album of The Year honors at the Rolling Stone Australia awards in 2011.
Review made by Jeff Penczak/2013
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