Look at any era of music and there will always be a market for a good ol’ psych revival. There’s just something to it, the chimey guitars, swirling organs, adventurous harmonies and absolute mood that this musical child of the ‘60s brings. Most bands paying homage don’t necessarily get super famous, but it’s not really about that so as much as capturing the same spirit and sounds of the originals. Some bands put a twist on the classic themes, some do their best to “modernize” and some are essentially cover bands with watered-down rehashings. But once in a while you get an act that takes the familiar tones and structures, pairs them with fantastic songs and injects such a spirit of life, resulting in you forgetting that this music has existed before.
The debut album of psych geniuses Hidden Masters is a fantastic slice of all that was grand. “She Broke the Clock of the Long Now” kicks off the record with drum rolls and a sludgy riff that perks your ears and announces “Yes, it’s time to listen.” A guitar noodle and the tumbliest of tumbling drums take us back to that special time when boundaries were being pushed: musically, politically and mentally. Vocalist David Addison’s smooth, confident delivery sits nicely with the ever-changing beats and evolving themes. There is enough in his voice to make you pay attention to his poetry. You may not even follow the story line, but you hang on his every word.
It’s hard to pick favorites from this record, as it’s so consistent start to finish. Whether it’s the rolling excitement of “Perfume,” the preachy folk-iness of “There Are More Things,” or the head-bopping guitar/bass grooves of “Fall in Line,” the album keeps things moving and samples wisely from all aspects of psychedelia. Of This and Other Worlds could fit so perfectly into 1968, and yet stands up to any modern record, being so sweetly aggressive and engaging. It’s one thing to pioneer new sounds and genres, but it’s a special few who can take the past and make it last.