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By New Music

Was that a bong hit? The Baudelaires have ripped out a killer debut LP with Musk Hill, and it’s not the psych you’ve heard before

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The Baudelaires are a Melbourne based four-piece outfit that play psych like it’s coming out of your garage, commonly referred to as garage psych, psych garage or neo-psych.

At the end of the day and through the haze of sub-genres, The Baudelaires play good times music with some solid rock n’ roll flavours.

baudelaires

Engaging the thrumming psychedelic scene with genuine love for the genre, The Baudelaires shine through the Aussie trip crowd.

Their 2014 EP Be A Baudelaire was a woozy, meandering psychedelic affair with an endearing lo-fi edge and enough delay to really freak out those dopey mind-expanders. It garnered enough attention to have them play shows all over the east coast and even sharing a stage with the holiest of astral travellers, Cosmic Psychos.

Musk Hill is their debut LP that builds on the psychedelic mist of their EP while also adding some more depth to the outfit’s sound. Recorded in a house bearing the album’s name on the Mornington Peninsula, from the moment we push play a healthy sense of cabin fever oozes from the speakers.

Scrapbooker is a well-placed opener and about as close to an aural representation of a heat wave as we’ve experienced. The song contains some nifty chord changes, and grooves that help give the track a little more strength than the standard psych drone.

Be A Baudelaire showed a band not afraid to bathe in delay. For Snapper Steve it feels like the band has the phaser, flanger, delay and reverb all set to 11, and there’s a super thick groove reminiscent of a slower Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or Black Angels, leaving a heavy, drenched feeling to the tune overall.

At the start of the song there’s also either a bong being ripped or the sound of the ocean. Given the track’s title we’ll go with ocean, but I think we all understand what went down that day in the studio.

As the middle of the album approaches, the band remedies the effects overload and plays more in the cleaner, clearer twang of garage rock. Foxglove presents a buoyant groove that leads really well in to the jangly, garage vibe of Lucy Leave; Colour Mary then helps back up the fact.

It’s a fairly standard psych song, however there’s a passion and enthusiasm that emanates from the recording that really helps the band’s authentic love of the genre shine bright. When you can hear it, it makes all the difference.

The monster finish to the record is the double-barrelled hit of Whet Denim and Dweller. Whet Denim is an absolute stomper and probably one of the better long form jams and psychedelic freak-outs we’ve heard in a while. Everything fits, the grove drives throughout and the foursome utilise effects to push the song in to the next level.

Dweller is the slow-jam closer than can often stunt the energy of an album when placed at the end. Not so for Musk Hill. The spacey guitar playing and lazy drums act as a calming influence, the grounding forces bringing you back to earth.

Evoking feelings of The Beatles Revolution 9, it offers a brief glimpse in to the minds of the collective unit, where they’re headed and what might come next on the journey.

Musk Hill is a solid album from a band that clearly loves the genre they play in, and aren’t simply covering a trend. The cohesive nature of the album as a whole shows deeper thought has been put into the overall listening experience.

Each track compliments the last, while offering something new in it’s own trippy way. A truly enjoyable listen and an album that should help restore your love of the full-length format rather than singles.

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November 4, 2016

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