Dave Maclean and Paul Lake have opened their interstellar toy box of myriad sounds and vibes and let loose a swarming groovy shit. Together they are The Chemistry Set and they have a new album of 60s psych pop gems to offer you…
What is most impressive is that there is a lot more at play than the usual psych standards. Pop hooks are melded with a grand sensibility, optimistic delivery, unwavering self belief and a sly sense of humour.
Let’s take a trip into The Endless More & More…
‘The Splendour Of The Universe’ blasts off with a suitably grandiose imagining of space as a kaleidoscopic trip to the hall of the lizard-king where trumpets blare and guitars blurt like retro rockets.
‘Crawling Back To You’ is a quite lovely piano led number matched with a 1970s singer-songwriter quality which means that it could have featured on Morecombe & Wise, played by middle-aged men with handle bar muzzies. Paul Lake’s voice is a revelation here. The way he sings “routine-i-i-i-ine” is just glorious; all strength and innocence. It has the raw quality of a song you loved as a child then revisited with a grown-ups critical eye to find it just as wonderful as how you remember it.
‘Albert Hofman’ is a heel dragging, sun warped variant on ‘See Emily Play’, emerging from a circus barrel organ (more barrel organ next album!). As a song dedicated to the inventor of LSD it pretty much nails all it’s targets with a hazy dream-like glow. Also, the video reminds me of Theme Hospital on the Playstation. So, happy days. Click to see what I mean.
Meanwhile, ‘The Fountains Of Neptune’ and ‘Come Kiss Vibrate And Smile’ are swirling 60s rockers – all Kinks and paisley shirts.
On the flip side there was initially a nagging suspicion that for a celebration of 60s psych with whimsical story telling, the only band you really need is The Dukes of Stratosphear. But no, there is room when the song writing is so damn good. The Endless More & More is a barrel load of fun that will put a broad smile on your face.
An album where the purples swirl and the oranges melts.