3 Psychedelic New Releases

3 Psychedelic New Releases 00by Joe Golfen
Staff Writer

History Machine

History Machine

“Dime” gets things started with a fake out, a jangling take on an old-school rock-n-roll ballad with a gentle melody, the sweetness undercut by the dark minor chords of a chorus that asks “When did we forget how to talk?” The record is filled with moments like this, lovely, vintage-sounding tunes and loaded melancholic laments, all delivered in singer Chris Melton’s rich baritone.

The band does a great job of peppering in unexpected moments, ranging from mandolin solos and a shout-along chorus to screeching guitars and synth wobbles, while never losing the music’s warm, lived-in feel.

“Wind” is an early standout, a seemingly simple country diddy made sinister by Melton’s delivery and the eerie sounds swirling in the background. “All Cool on the Western Front” is another great track, a breezy tune that changes course midway through the guitar solo, when the bass switches to fuzz and the tune swings into a psychedelic sludge.

With their self-titled release, History Machine delivers a confident, pleasingly experimental album that rewards repeated listens, which is easy to do when the songs are this good.

Great American Canyon Band

Only You Remain

I have to admit, the name Great American Canyon Band had me expecting something a little different; perhaps of the stomp-and-holler variety that’s been so popular lately. And while there are elements of that open-hearted Americana on display in Only You Remain, this Baltimore wife-husband duo make that sound their own by pairing their acoustic elements and rich harmonies with swirling synths and echo-heavy guitars.

The result is an intriguing mix of hazy dream pop and Laurel Canyon-indebted psychedelia, the music capturing the widescreen magic of driving on a vast open road. So really the name is a perfect fit, and Great American Canyon Band should definitely find a spot on your next roadtrip mix.

Candy Cigarettes

Candy Cigarettes

Hazy, dreamy vocals? Scrappy, chaotic guitar solos? It’s like this record was built to appeal to me, which might be why I can’t stop listening to it. Portland’s Candy Cigarettes is really a one-man band in the form of Lane Mueller, a multi-instrumentalist who produces all the music. The 24-year-old Oregonian, whose driver’s licence graces the album cover, kicks things off with “Selling Price,” a spacey odyssey filled with trippy background singers and woozy guitar solos. The record certainly has some eclectic edges, such as “My 45,” which drops the dark psychedelia for a breezy early-Flaming Lips vibe, or “Molded Ocean,” which takes a clear page from the whispered sorrow of Elliott Smith. But no matter the style he reaches for, Mueller keeps things pleasingly off-kilter, making Candy Cigarettes a record you need to check out.