Record review: The Frowning Clouds – Legalize Everything (2014, LP)

the frowning clouds

Let’s get this straight from the off – legalizing everything probably isn’t a good idea, and it’s safe to say Geelong retro garage-rockers The Frowning Clouds know that. That aside, this is a band with some serious pop-writing chops, as this third album from the quintet shows. Plenty of sixties-inspired jangly pop with more than a few welcome psych-rock touches is the modus operandi that long-term fans of the band will recognise, although there are a few neat new tricks slotted into a series of two to three-minute tracks to keep things interesting. Indeed, it’s the lack of extended King Gizzard-esque psych-rock wig-outs that make Legalize Everything bounce along so nicely, although at no point does the mood get beyond incredibly laid-back. Opener ‘Carrier Drone’ sets the tone with a chilled and distorted chorus of “take me, take me anywhere you want”, while ‘Sun Particle Mind Body Experience’ carries on the relaxed vibe with some shiny guitar moments. Tracks like ‘Move It’ and ‘No Blues’ display an intriguing diversity to the band’s sound that points to a more eclectic future, while space-rock instrumental ‘Radio Telescope’ sounds like a group of guys making ear-searing noise just for the sheer pleasure of it. All in all, it’s this mix of elements that combine to make an album that’s catchy, crackly and a whole lot of fun.

Best track: Sun Particle Mind Body Experience
If you like this, you’ll like these: The Kinks, The Small Faces, The Byrds
In a word: Swingin’

For Beat

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