Psychedelic pop that doesn't forget the songcraft.
A lot of psychedelic revivalists forget that the genre's progenitors worked within the confines of the pop music marketplace, at least at the beginning: even The Grateful Dead and Pink Floyd focused on three-minute pop songs on their first LPs. Happily, New Hampshire psychedelicists MMOSS (pronounced "moss") understand the concept of brevity, packing 18 songs into less than 50 minutes on their debut album. The four-piece led by guitarist Doug Tuttle and organist/flautist Rachel Neveu have the period sound down pat, but crucially, they're also quality songwriters. Evenly split between trippy instrumental excursions and lysergic pop songs, i handles both styles deftly. Concise, catchy tunes like "Hedgecreeper" and "Grow Down" layer on the jangly guitars, stacked wordless harmonies and smartly-deployed percussion, while slow-building bliss-outs like the shimmering eddies of "...And I Do Set My Bow in the Clouds," the Velvet Underground-style drive of "Epistle To Shon" and the woozy, disorienting "Part Three" sound composed and carefully arranged, not like the aimless jams that dot so many similar records. Toward the end of the album, the relatively epic "Kitty Sorrow" and "Come What May" bring together the two forms into a pair of downbeat but still charming tunes resembling vintage Yo La Tengo, suggesting a possible future direction for this talented young band.
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