Posts Tagged ‘Luke Parish’

Their new record, “And Now For The Whatchamacallit”, is sitting at the very top of the Australian vinyl charts, and for good reason. They scratch an itch in Aussie music that strikes a rare balance between immediacy and complexity the sheer momentum of their riff-based psych-rock nearly outruns its own anxious underbelly.

Since the advent of language, all things have needed to be called somethingespecially rock bands. To break out of the psych-rock hotbed of Perth, Australia, a truly absurd moniker was chosen: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. What does it mean? We have no idea and neither do the fellas in the band. However, like their music, it’s undeniably memorable. Hailing from the same pub and club scene that spawned psych-pop superstars Tame Impala and cult favourites Pond, the Crumpets’ brand of psychedelic rock is decidedly more over-the-top than the fare their compatriots put out. The Crumpets make brash, exuberant music that takes the intrigue and textures of classic psych and injects it with an unhinged, restless energy that feels like peaking on LSD while riding a rollercoaster.

At the core of the Crumpets’ sonic universe is an unabashed love of cartoonishly large and colourful guitars. With their third LP, And Now for the Whatchamacallit, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have created a loose concept album which applies the aesthetic of a 1930s carnival to the turbulent circus that is touring life for a young band. Tracked chiefly in frontman/principal songwriter/guitarist Jack McEwan’s bedroom studio (with some overdubs done at Perth’s Tone City Studios), And Now for the Whatchamacallit is indeed a guitar carnival that revels in dazzling multi-layered harmonies, chunky, fuzz-laden riffing, and delicate ambient passages that’ve been tweaked, warped, or pitch-shifted in interesting ways. Finished with a dash of ’70s glam pomp and a hearty dose of indie-pop melody, the album ticks a lot of hallowed guitar-rock boxes while forging unique territory.

And yet, lead singer Jack McEwan is anything but world-weary. Gleefully sipping a schooner on a Monday morning with the rest of his exhausted band behind him, he seems as stoked as a man could be. With occasional interjections from bright-eyed keyboard player Chris Young, we chat about escapism, how Perth shaped their music, and the way song writing fills the void.

Beyond being a compelling listen, the Crumpets’ latest release is a fine example of how good a guitar-focused album can be without access to expensive gear, or much reliance on tube amps or even high-end modelling rigs. The Crumpets’ musical identity is a by product of Perth’s isolation, where bands are decidedly less overwhelmed by an influx of outside art and additionally forced to use whatever tools they have at their disposal in a place where American-made and/or vintage gear is difficult to come by.

A big fan of the “work with what you’ve got” philosophy, McEwan tracked almost all of his guitar parts in Ableton through DI and employed clever production techniques (like eschewing amp sims altogether for an extremely hot compressor) to get his guitar sounds, which are rarely sterile, despite often sounding like anything but a guitar. While McEwan’s guitars live almost exclusively in the digital realm, lead guitarist Luke Parish is a fan of vintage gear and has hunted down and imported some gems, including a ’60s Sears Silvertone amp and a ’68 Fender Deluxe Reverb, which he used to add organic warmth to McEwan’s digital guitar pastiche. The pair complement each other exceptionally well as guitarists despite having vastly different backgrounds as musicians: McEwan is a converted bass player and Parish came up playing in jazz bands and then followed the typical blues-rock heroes of yesteryear.

With McEwan and Parish riding in the back of a tour van, traversing a Welsh highway. The duo discussed the band’s writing process, unique home-recording techniques, the travails of sourcing decent gear in an isolated locale, and what makes Australia such a fertile place for rock ’n’ roll.

They are certainly channelling some of King Gizzard magic . With its slashing garage rock riff and driving bassline, it starts out like something out of the Gizz’s Nonagon Infinity, particularly with its hushed vocals. This docks it a few points for originality. However, the song’s distinguishes itself a more melodic cerebral second half.

Image of Psychedelic Porn Crumpets

If you had to name just one band that this year has made you miss witnessing on the live stage, it would have to be Western Australia’s Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. 

Hope everyone’s chirping as loud as the hundreds of migrating parrots who’ve become fond of the trees outside my window, from 6am to 6pm, sqwarking all sorts of jumbo. But, they sound happy, which makes me happy, and on the plus side I’ve been lucky enough to start every morning with rainbow lorikeet on toast, little bit of salt and pepper, avo, poached egg, delicious.

But back to music, actually before that… Do you think that some people get synesthesia and instead of seeing colours they have the ability to taste different foods? Or smell popcorn? Like I was thinking Radiohead would be a pack of wine gums in a freshly cut field whereas chemical brothers smells like a Tom Yum soup but tastes like that crackling soda pop lolly thing, remember the one you dip into the sherbet?

Anyway, childhood reminiscing aside. We’ve got a new single out called “Mr.Prism” which will hopefully be the answer to all your questions. *no parrots were harmed in the making of this email.

Arguably one of the most impressive bands you’ll see on a live stage anywhere, the group have been hard at work dishing out blistering tracks at every turn. Earlier this month, they emerged from lockdowns armed with ‘Mr. Prism’, their first new track since the release of ‘Mundungus’ last year. As singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jack McEwan explained at the time, the new tune was inspired by a rather rough experience while on the road.

“After our last tour of Europe I had a plethora of reasons to see a doctor,” McEwan explained. “First, he thought I had tonsillitis, so prescribed me penicillin, which didn’t help at all. I did Falls Festival over New Year’s and barely got through – turns out I had pneumonia. While it remains to be seen whether or not we’ll be receiving new music in the near future, the group are however set to hit the road again soon, performing a run of socially-distanced WA shows next month, before joining Ocean Alley on their Aussie tour next year.

Band Members:
Jack McEwan,
Luke Parish,
Danny Caddy,
Luke Reynolds,
Christopher Young

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First rule of band names: make sure your name doesn’t contain the genre of music you play. The band’s colossal, eccentric pop/rock sound is undeniably psychedelic and it’s kind of cheesy to have the genre explicitly in the title. After giving them a pass for a corny, playfully ridiculous name, you can let yourself wander in their magical, sweeping soundscapes. Singles like “Social Candy” and “Marmalade March” invoke equal amounts of high-spirited fun and virtuoso musicianship. Listening to their music requires listeners to abandon their inhibitions and embark on whatever gleaming psych-pop joyride they offer. Their sound is accessible and melodious enough to appeal to pop/rock fans while their musical proficiency and wacky euphoria will also gel with diehard psych fans.

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Band Members
Jack McEwan,
Luke Parish,
Danny Caddy,
Luke Reynolds

These guys seem to be getting everywhere these days and they totally deserve it. This album has many strong points and things that set itself apart from others in their genre. Having burst onto the scene in their homeland, releasing their first two LPs to widespread national acclaim, alongside supports with Royal Blood, Dune Rats and Black Mountain, the band have developed a staunch grassroots following with their captivating blend of psychedelia. The albums are fuzzy, heavy and echoes in your cranium with every beat. An epic detour of neon flavoured noise grows to entangle your dissolving brain. Savagely mutant energies bubble through the air. Your body is out of reach, turning itself into a sponge as your mind floats towards another dimension.

I had trouble writing this review because I was too wrapped up in listening to this album on repeat. Absolutely fantastic!

The quartet have delivered an entrancing video for Cornflake, discussing their ideas in detail: “Existence is a strange concept so we wanted to create an animation that explores the idea of how weird life is. Even after all the soul-searching, religious preaching and spiritual journeys there is not one answer to anything”. “The video salutes to the song perfectly, venting more energy, colour and strangeness that leaves most people perplexed. It’s sometimes hard to grasp we’re one of a billion grains of rice in a huge sushi roll; the video reinstates that awareness, so stop worrying and do something you care about before the aliens invade”.

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets is Jack McEwan (lead vocals, guitar), Luke Parish (guitar), Danny Caddy (drums), Luke Reynolds (bass).

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High Visceral {Part 2} also contains some interesting new ventures in rhythm and melody. The rhythm interaction between the percussion and guitars in “Move” are pleasant to the ears. “Move” also contains a riff-reference to previous track “Gurzle”, a nice touch for the progressiveness of the album that makes it all feel a little more intertwined.

There are also some really interesting influences apparent on the album that come as a pleasant surprise.“Coffee”, a smooth relaxing track that goes down well with your morning cuppa, oozes with influence from Unknown Mortal Orchestra. The last half of the track also contains some incredibly colourful synthesizers that reminded me of those found on Tame Impala’s Lonerism. The closing track, “November”, also warmly reminded me of riffs played by the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix.

“Dependant on Mary” has a poppy riff that will be getting plays at house parties across Australia. The second act of the track breaks down into a slower descent into the cosmos, but before you doze off into space the track crawls back up to pace with your head banging again.

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets describe themselves on their Unearthed page as “Space Fuzz”. That description applies more than ever to High Visceral {Part 2}. Some tracks will have you feeling as if you are indeed floating through space. “Coffee”, as I mentioned before, and more-so in It’s Not Safe to Leave this House.

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Psychedelic Porn Crumpets songs are filled with long, hypnotising riffs that lock you in with your jaw drooling as if something just hit your serotonin receptors”. I still strongly stand by that statement, and having those tunes refined in the studio with extra polish is an excellent final touch.

Released April 14th, 2018

Recorded & Produced by Psychedelic Porn Crumpets 
Drums Recorded by Dave Parkin at Blackbird Studios

Artwork by Zouassi

Ben Caddy – Violins/Viola
(All String Compositions)
Jon Tooby – Cello
(First Light Move, Coffee, Mary
Safe House, November)
Jamie Canny – Saxophone (Gurzle)
Zoe Gol – Vocals (Move)
Chris Young – Piano/Synth
(Dependant on Mary)