Psychedelic Rich Reviews

Oohee doggy, hello everybody!

Richard Foley’s the name and uh, Psychedelicing is the game! You might know me better as Psychedelic Rich, sometime keyboardist for Dylan Wilson (not that he ever gives me any credits…)  Here I’ll be reviewing music for your enjoyment! http://www.thisisfeast.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Dylan-Richie-Rich.jpg

I hope you enjoy yourselves and remember, KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD!

The Stoned Immaculate – I Mean, That’s What I Mean, You Know What I Mean?

The Stoned Immaculate are one of my FAVOURITE (and I don’t say that every day) Glasgow bands of recent memory. You ever seen a bunch of guys combine the sounds of the Happy Mondays, the Pixies, Britpop, trad-psychedelia, new wave rock ‘n roll and Glasgow soul all together? Well now you have! They’re here, they’re stoned, they’re immaculate!

Stony Macs (as the true fans know them) released their first EP ‘Nah’ to high praise in 2020. This year saw them return with their second Extended Play ‘I Mean, That’s What I Mean, You Know What I Mean?’. A title befitting their sense of psychedelic haziness and fantastic for my fellow tie-dye warriors out there! The album features some pretty funky, and suitably psychedelic, artwork from Erin McEvoy. McEvoy also provided artwork for several previous releases of the band.

Track One – Plastic Notes

Plastic Notes kicks the EP off in a hazy fashion with a slow build acoustic guitar and sexy little cymbal fills leading into a suitably sleepy sounding lead vocal. Dreamy pop girl style backing vocals and bass guitar worthy of Bernard Edwards lead us into soothing waves of amplified acousto-rock. The music sounds as if you’re floating down a kaleidoscopic stream on a bleary Sunday morning, with the vocals (lead and backing) gently reminding you that there’s something horrifyingly wrong with the world at large, and this psychedelic daydream can only last as long as a comedown can truly be expected to… My personal highlights are the drum freak out during the guitar solo (featuring some suitably plastic sounding notes) and the dual male-female vocals!

Get Away (Jodie)

If your name is Jodie, I’m legally required to ask you to look away now.

The EP’s only single, the track kicks off with a mean acoustic guitar figure with maybe the loveliest high-end sound I’ve ever been struck by! The vocals and lyrics really shine through here, with the sense of a stoned hopefulness versus an uncaring and ultimately improbable world punctuating throughout.

The second guitar has this lovely jingly-jangly new wave feel to it, while the bass plays perfect foil to the acoustic with some deliciously groovy high notes.

The lyrics, in my opinion, have a very Scottish sense of failed romance. There is a certain longing to the singer’s words towards a girl (presumably this Jodie cat) that feels ever so slightly too late. A mournful lover throwing dreamlike suggestions at someone who has already walked away, and he knows it all too well.

Some other highlights include the Dylanesque organ during the choruses (right on, Al Kooper!) and fuzzier than fuzz guitar solo towards the end of the song. I really like the sort of late Sixties; early Seventies band arrangement sound the group have gone for here. It sets an interesting sound and gives them a bit of a great edge musically.

My favourite parts of this song are the lyrics, vocals, and acoustic guitar!

Sunburn

If you were looking away when this track came on, you’d maybe think that your Music Streaming Provider Of Choice had gone on shuffle and was now playing a track off Hunky Dory by David Bowie. With the brief swishes of electric guitar, you’d maybe start asking if The Police had always had an acoustic guitarist?

But no! It’s just The Stoned Immaculate! Once again, the acoustic guitar plays a starring role with gentile notes picked out opposite tender piano keys. This is the bassist’s chance to shine as well. I’d say this track is probably the most bass heavy on the record, and it’s awesome. In fact, all the instrumentalists are at the top of their game.

Beginning as a sort of Subterranean Homesick Blues-esque fast-folk-song-that-kind-of-sounds-like-rapping-kind-of thing, the vocals eventually sidestep to allow the instruments to gel in a way that many artists wouldn’t allow. The slow dream-like (take a toke every time I say the word ‘dream’ in this review) boogie is vibey as hell, and eventually gives way to a full on rock star jamathon. Build up from all corners of the rhythm instruments (acoustic guitar, bass, and drums) eventually leads into a scorching hot guitar solo that I for one found very Velvet Undergroundesque. In fact, the jam portion of the song towards the end where absolute everybody freaks out really reminded me of ‘Rock And Roll’ from The Velvet Underground’s fourth album Loaded. I think I’ll let that praise speak for itself, will I? You’re like The Velvet Underground! Woooooo!

My favourite parts of this song are… uh… All of it!

Safety Pins

Not just rock ‘n roll kids, there’s a violin too! And it’s bloody good!

I’d maybe say that this, the final track, features the best vocal performance of the album. He only sings a couple lines, but the singer has a croon that comes across like a mental fusion of Shaun Ryder, Lou Reed, and Syd Barrett. Fantastic.

The track is almost entirely instrumental and is a sweet little finisher for the EP. Quick, relaxing, and to the point. As a pianist myself, I can’t help but gush over the twinkling presence of the ivories here. They add a certain delicacy to the track in the same way that George Martin’s piano work on the mid-period Beatles stuff did too. Of course, the violin is a welcome presence as well, provided by guest musician Emmy Leishman (backing vocalist on ‘Plastic Notes’). It helps give the track another layer to its soothing and vibey presence. If you’re waking up from a night of feeling Stoned and Immaculate yourself, this is the song you want to hear.

Favourite part, the vocals and piano.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, I really must hand it to Stony Macs. ‘I Mean, That’s What I Mean, You Know What I Mean?’ is a damn fine record with a lot of promise and a lot of fun to be had. It takes what the band had already established themselves as and builds it and moves it. I think the heavy presence of the acoustic guitar was a grand choice and was utilised well on every track.

I guess the only real criticism I can offer is that I wish it was longer. With only four tracks, you’re left slightly lonesome and hungry for more as the EP draws to a close. I hope that the band keeps working and that we get a full LP one day soon in the future! I don’t doubt this though. Will talent this good, a full set of records is an inevitability.

Still, the four tracks themselves are perfect little paintings of Scottish life in 2021. Nothing overstays its welcome, the musicians are all fabulous and the lyrics hit home. Really, I can’t properly complain about the EP being short because everything feels so neat and perfectly wrapped up in the end. If you want to make an EP, this is how you do it. Hit hard, hit fast, and don’t hang around. The Stoned Immaculate have established this.

8 Flumpos Out Of 10.

I’ve been Psychedelic Rich and I’m off to go sailing. Keep Austin Weird everybody!

Photo Credits

Psychedelic Rich: Dylan Wilson

‘I Mean, That’s What I Mean, You Know What I Mean?’ Album Art: Artwork by Erin Mae McEvoy.

The Stoned Immaculate: @sineadshoots (Instagram).

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