Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – ‘SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound’ | Album Review

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets’ new album SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound is out now via Marathon Artists.

The land down under and its impermutable love for psychedelia entail a relationship that just keeps on giving to the music industry. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Pond, The Murlocs, just to name a few, have given their invaluable contributions to ensure the subculture’s heritage stood (and will stay) strong. Keeping this tradition alive is also Perth-based quintet Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, now submitted to the task of adding another entry to the Australian psychedelic rock catalogue with SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound.

This time around, the band has set out to search for a new ingredient for their already frantic psychedelic formula. As such, the album feels a little denser on its dreamy pop side than most of their early endeavours, nevertheless staying true to its vibrant and energetic designs. Various elements of their work to date feel somewhat expanded upon here but their sonic identity – essentially cast in high-octane performances and frenetic, unrelenting momentum – remains fundamentally intact.

In fact, SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound is at its finest when these explosive stretches of high-pitched, hyperactive guitars and bass team up with the bass-heavy tonality of the percussion sections. Atop all this, plenty of instances where choruses draw vocal inspiration from pop render the themes of gaiety, open-mindedness, and pleasure in the record even more transparent. Oh, and let us not forget the plethora of obligatory references to psychedelic substances, though it really should not come off as a surprise for those acquainted with the subculture.

As a result, we get tracks such as ‘Tally-Ho’, through which a perspective of egotism originated by drugs and alcohol is explored by means of witty wordplay and clever metaphors. Or take ‘Mr. Prism’, where amidst remembering that one time he was struck down with pneumonia, frontman Jack McEwan untiringly reemphasizes the fact that “Nobody fears the nose beers”. Cocaine, if you will.

But while the album has enough that makes it a fun listen, some problems arise as audible reiterations, and somewhat uninteresting ideas come about here and there. Even in all the bombardment of the senses that is supplied through the colourful pandemonium going on, there still remain some uninspired tracks. ‘Hats off to the Green Beans’ and ‘Glitter Bug’ come to mind here. Likewise, other tracks like ‘Tripolasaur’ and the closer ‘The Tale of Gurney Gridman’ play around with exciting concepts but ultimately leave a trail of underdeveloped ideas along the way.

Even then, and although some of the better moments in the album do not last all that long, it is still a worthy listen all things considered. By the end of the forty-minute-journey that the record delivers, fun is definitely bound to be had even if that very journey finishes off risking a slight tone of sameness across tracks. Luckily, the production work here does help breathe some life into the album, and its liveliness as a whole plays a huge role in its enjoyability.

All in all, SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound might not have landed in the psychedelic rock scene with as much of an impact as was hoped by PPC, but we should still not let its shortcomings overshadow its inherent qualities. A listen is due, for the whole lot it manages to get right.

SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound is available to buy or stream here.

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