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Pink Floyd are the beating heart of ’70s progressive rock. Easily the genre’s strongest songwriters and sincerest lyricists, Pink Floyd dialled down prog’s more pretentious tendencies to huge success. Iconic albums such as The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall secured the band a place in rock history rivalling The Beatles. This review, however, is set a little earlier. The year is 1967, long-time frontman David Gilmour won’t join the band until 1968 and experimental guitarist Syd Barrett – alongside bassist Roger Waters, keyboardist Richard Wright and drummer Nick Mason – is revolutionising rock music.
In 2014, American lo-fi musician Ariel Pink released pom pom, his first album without the ‘Haunted Graffiti’ moniker. The 21st Century’s answer to Todd Rundgren’s 1973 gem A Wizard, a True Star, pom pom was sprawling, inventive and very very weird. Pink’s follow-up, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson, reins in the scatterbrained madness. In its place, however, is something more consistent, sincere and refined.
I went into Arcade Fire’s fifth studio album not expecting much. Despite liking the singles, most reviews I read suggested this was an underwhelming effort from the Canadian art rock band. Admittedly, their 2013 release Reflektor received similarly mixed reviews and I love that album, but I was still lowering my expectations. As a result, I was pleasantly surprised. Everything Now may not be Arcade Fire’s best work, but it is still an undoubtedly excellent record.
By this point, we’re all acquainted with the Melbourne psychedelic rock septet King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard. With two albums preceding Sketches of Brunswick East this year alone, their name graces new release pages frequently (and let’s face it, no one’s forgetting it in a hurry). Mild High Club, Gizz’s partner in crime on this record, is a less familiar name. The solo project of Los Angeles musician Alex Brettin, Mild High Club sounds like Mac DeMarco started writing for Steely Dan, with Todd Rundgren on production.
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