Refreshingly fun, back-to-the-basics psychedelic punk
Self-recorded as a two-piece, The Lovely Eggs’ sixth album, I Am Moron, is a testimony to the potential of often underrated DIY projects. Granted, co-producer David Fridmann, the mastermind behind recent The Flaming Lips and Tame Impala, undoubtedly has something to do with the impressive trajectory of this new era of The Lovely Eggs.
Picking up right where they left off, I Am Moron is the perfect blend of psychedelic rock with down and dirty punk, slipping between the two with mastered ease. The organic charisma and playfulness of The Lovely Eggs make this a fun and enjoyable listen.
Opening with the funky drone intro of “Long Stem Carnations,” arguably the most polished track, it is evident from the jump this album will be a ride, complete with a head rush and need to listen again. This first track establishes the band’s technicality between the push and pull of dynamics and flipping from major to minor almost seamlessly. As the album progresses, it’s easy to forget that there’s a method to its madness.
Despite the joy that is the first couple of songs, it admittedly takes a few to really get into it. Once the punk-sensibilities of “This Decision” hit and Holly Ross yells, “It’s all part of the design” over deafening synths, the album takes off running, leaving the rest of the forty minutes to fly by.
From the looping mantra of “You’ve Got the Balls” to the Blondie-reminiscent “I Wanna,” the most remarkable thing about The Lovely Eggs is the way they break away from the formulaic approach to psychedelic punk rock. No two tracks sound the same and yet, they fit together in a cohesive aesthetic.
“The Mothership” is perhaps the greatest break in tradition. More of an 11 o’clock number or interlude, this song is a breather for listeners. Ross’ vocals float above the more mellow instrumentation, exposed and vulnerable for the first time on I Am Moron. This track stands out as yet another chance to establish the talent behind the craziness of the music.
Maybe crazy isn’t the right word but eccentric most definitely is. Drowning in fuzz and vocal filters, the lyrics fall to the wayside more often than not. Never taking themselves too seriously, I Am Moron feels more like a fumbling stream of consciousness than poetry with a greater purpose. While it may not be causing personal epiphanies, it’s funny, electric and weird in all the best ways.
Where the first 11 tracks feel alien and disorderly, the closer, “New Dawn,” brings the whole thing home. Akin to returning to Earth and sticking the landing, this six-minute song neatly wraps I Am Moron up using beautifully layered vocal harmonies and a soothing bassline.
No doubt, Fridmann outdid himself with I Am Moron. While the band embraces their DIY aesthetic and work ethic, it is thanks to Fridmann’s production that the quality of music does not suffer. The mixes found on every single track are incredibly impressive and make for a more enjoyable listening experience. Perhaps that is why DIY garage bands get such a bad rep; they don’t have a Fridmann in their corner.
Off-kilter and all tongue-in-cheek, this is the type of record that needs to be taken for what it is. The Lovely Eggs never claim to have some grandiose purpose or message. They are by no means trailblazers, however, they return to the most basic rule. Music, both playing and listening, should be fun. Arriving at the perfect time, when everyone is in need of an entertaining escape from a rather grim reality, I Am Moron is a much-needed breath of fresh air.