Album Review: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – And Now For The Whatchamacallit

And Now For The Whatchamacallit

And Now For The Whatchamacallit is the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets’ third album since 2017, a sign of hard work yes but nothing in contrast to fellow Australians King Gizzard And The Wizard Lizard, who brought out five long players in 2018 alone.

Both bands play music which requires a certain amount of looking the other way, although PPC’s name alone should give the listener fair warning that things aren’t to be taken 100% seriously. Originally a concept developed by singer Jack McEwan for an assignment on his graphic design course, the idea once dreamt up came to life at pace as he co-wrote the material which would become their first album whilst working on a building site.

Any lingering doubts the world might have retained about the Perth quartet just horsing around with this party-like-its-1969 thing were scotched by Visceral Things Part 1 and 2 respectively, both largely faithful to a Tull/Floyd/Kinksian formula which made up for in stylish enthusiasm what they lacked in originality. The obvious question they left was whether the band would continue to retain an air of slight self-parody.

Initially the answer seems to be that McEwan and co. felt nothing was broken, as opener Keen For Kick Ons and then Bill’s Mandolin zestily re-roll out the kaftan grooves, Olde English vocals and Carnaby Street tropes. The latter even has a nice line in hallucinogenic inspired lyrics for authenticity; “Children of the festival are waiting for your song/Antivax the tesseracts then consultate your smile/Architect the cause of my division in a conscious country mile.” Of course.

You might be thinking quietly however, to yourselves here, whether the world really needed yet another homage to Spinal Tap and if you are, the good news is that the lads have come to much the same conclusion. The revolution in a wise moment of sequencing starts with the next song Hymn For A Droid which begins with a new and different, Chili Peppers-esque urgency before the interstellar overdrive is applied courtesy of crunching riffage delivered with true gusto.

From that point on the journey becomes far less predictable, venturing into cod-reggae (proudly weird instrumental Digital Hunger) and the blasted ambience of closer Dezi’s Adventure, while My Friend’s A Liquid takes its sunny, wide-eyed disposition – as the band themselves did at conception – from the bedroom trippiness of Tame Impala.

All of these ideas fizz around like laser beams in a tin, so perhaps the biggest surprise is that the album’s highlight stays a little closer to the established formula; Social Candy finds them in the midst of archetypal porn crumpetry at first (“What a colossal navigational problem/I seem to be a vegetable”) before a rutted, smashing grind and epic chorus/chant brings the whole shebang home as the foursome ride it out fantastically.

The secret to work of course is not how hard you do it but how well; And Now for The Whatchamacallit could’ve been a joke too far, but instead it’s proof that the world might just have to start taking the Psychedelic Porn Crumpets a little more…seriously.

(Andy Peterson)

One Response

  1. michael 30 May, 2019

Leave a Reply