Boomkat Product Review:
These guys are great, but I can never get past the fact that when I say Raccoo-oo-oon in my head I think of the wolf from ageing TV series 'The Box of Delights' (if there was one, if not just ignore me) howling at the moon. I'm pretty sure that this was the band's intention, I mean they make psych-folk-freak-weird-America-something and you know, those guys are 'proper mental'. Well despite all this, 'Behold Secret Kingdom', the band's first official cd album after a whole bunch of really quite incredible limited releases, is a real honest revelation. Taking cues from their extensive previous work, the Iowa City based free spirits have upped the production values and attempted to move their sound on into brave new locations, and what's more they've succeeded admirably. Sounding something like Sunburned Hand of the Man on a steady diet of classic metal and then recorded next to Camp Crystal Lake just as Jason pokes his head up at the end of the first film (whoops did I spoil it for you? Deckard's a replicant too...) this is a blood-drenched assault for the ears. In fact it makes me want to go skinny dipping with men, something I can't say for every record since I'm not usually that way inclined, it's just got an innate power that makes you want to buck the trend, do something different, drink iced tea - you know what I'm talking about. It's not even that the record is particularly zany, in fact this is so way more coherent than most of the 'free' dross we get rolling through the door it's almost a pop record in comparison, but there's such a wilful punk spirit that the whole thing becomes lost in a sludge of tar and alcohol. I guess 'Behold Secret Kingdom' has everything I love about experimental rock right now - great songs, a kind of Krautrock glint, loads of seriously f*cked up synthesizer sounds, mangled guitars and a coherence that allows you to listen to the album from beginning to end without cursing David Keenan for ever coining the phrase 'New Weird America'. This is modern psychedelic rock, and for newbies or seasoned old pros like I keep telling myself I'm not, this should be a knee trembling full-on experience - just keep it in mind that you shouldn't go walking in the woods on your own. Saying that you'll 'be back in a minute' is almost asking to be murdered, trust me, I've seen the movies. So, so good - buy it.