WORDS BY THOMAS FREEMAN
Image by Tristan McKenzie
Western Australia’s Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are back with their latest album: ‘SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound’. This is album number four from the psych rockers, who have been making a notable name for themselves over the past few years with three successful albums under their belts, the band playing across the country at various big festival and gigs, as well as getting a ton of support from Triple J and Triple J Unearthed, with lots of airtime and ‘SHYGA!’ receiving the coveted feature album slot very recently.
This was an album that I was personally super excited to hear for the start of 2021, with singles like ‘Mr Prism’, ‘Tally-Ho’ and ‘Pukebox’ all being standout tracks from the band, but also my interview with the bands frontman, Jack McEwan, who stated last year that they all had more time to really work hard on the project with the Covid-19 restrictions pushing back all of the albums deadlines, resulting in a new album that more refined, cohesive and energetic than a lot of their previous work.
The album opens with ‘Big Dijon’, a short intro that gets the listener ready for the rest of the record and sets the tone quite nicely before leading into one of the albums best songs: ‘Tally-Ho’. Its absolutely chaotic with the effects-heavy guitars driving the song, giving the audience a fuzzy, drug-induced experience that really gets ‘SHYGA!’ off to a flying start. The production here, along with the vast majority of the album, is pretty fantastic with its colourful and visceral sounds and instrumentals.
The fuzz tones continue into ‘Sawtooth Monkfish’, a very fun and creatively titled track that shows the bands vintage guitar rock influences come through really nicely, giving a reminiscent feeling of artists like T. Rex and early Kings of Leon. These inspirations also come through nicely on other tracks like ‘Glitter Bug’ and ‘Mango Terrarium’, which really elevates the album to become more than just another Psychedelic Porn Crumpets record that we’ve heard before.
I also really liked the ‘Tripolasaur’, a song that transitions nicely from ‘Sawtooth Monkfish’ and also is one of the most energetic bangers on the whole record. It has a really strong riff that feels reminiscent of 2019’s ‘Social Candy’, and features some of the albums best instrumentals. The hits keep coming with the singles ‘Mr Prism’ and ‘The Terrors’; two songs that also stood out to me on the LP with their upbeat, fun instrumentals and self-reflective throwbacks on going too hard at festivals. ‘The Terrors’ also feels like a single that we all slept on, with the band showing off some of their best guitar work, making for one of the more fast-paced moments on the record.
‘SHYGA!’ then slows down a bit, giving the listener a moment to breathe from the intense chaotic energy from the last six tracks, with ‘Hats Off to the Green Bins’, ‘Glitter Bug’ and ‘More Glitter’. Despite being some of the less memorable tracks off the album, I really liked the early King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard vibes that these tracks had whilst still sounding like a Psychedelic Porn Crumpets song, and as an added bonus, the titles are really great too, along with the rest of the album.
The album picks right up after that with ‘Pukebox’, the last single the band released prior to the LP dropping, and ultimately another great song from the record. Similar to the next tracks, ‘Mundungus’ and ‘Mango Terrarium’, these songs both continue the themes and ideas of regretfully going too hard at a festival or a night out. The production on these songs is yet again fantastic, and I love the high-energy that comes through on ‘Mundungus’, especially in the thrash-fuelled instrumentals.
The albums wraps up with the short intermission ‘Round the Corner’, before closing with the albums longest track: ‘The Tale of Gurney Gridman’. It’s a pretty solid ballad to finish up ‘SHYGA!’ and the guitars on here are some of the best on the LP. The second half of the track is also pretty dreamy yet still having that psychedelic feel to it. I
‘SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound’ is an album I was extremely excited for, and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets delivered on my expectations with a record that has all the fun and high-intensity that you’d expect from the band, whilst also being a release that is more refined and colourful in the bands discography. There are moments where it does feel like something you’d expect from the artist, but I still think that Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have put out something that they’ve worked really hard towards, pushing themselves in what they can do with both music and production.
STREAM THE ALBUM HERE: