Sunday 24 January 2016

The Chemistry Set - The Endless More & More

Article by Jeff Haight

London psychedelic rockers and cult favorites The Chemistry Set are back with a full-length release, building upon their 2015 EP 'Elapsed Memories'. The new record 'The Endless More & More' is a twelve song set filled with a dizzying array of effortless melodies, memorable sing-along choruses and an amazing mix of psychedelic sonic treats for the ears. The first track, 'The Fountains of Neptune', sets the tone immediately with jangly electric phased guitars, and a driving tom tom beat. This song is four minutes of pure '60s garage rock bliss complete with an organ and a fuzzy blanket of guitars, easily destined to become your new favorite song to sing along with. The Chemistry Set don't let up on layering beautiful pop melodies as the horn hook of 'The Splendor of the Universe' arrives with up front punchy drums, tambourine and acoustic guitar. This band really layers their arrangements and instrumentation masterfully as the songs progress through this album. Each chorus contains soaring lead vocals and harmonies that are truly uplifting or wondrous.

It was difficult not to imagine grabbing your friends to get out and go see this band in a live setting as you listen to these tracks. The energy is undeniable, even on a mid-tempo spacey track like 'Time to Breathe' that contains some really beautifully delayed slide guitar passages, breathless harmonies and a fantastic mix of psychedelic effects as the song approaches the outro fade-out. Fans of the Super Furry Animals, R.E.M. and Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd should immediately rush out and grab a copy of this record. One of my favorite tracks, 'Albert Hoffman', starts with a great kaleidoscope of carnival sounds only to drip away into hazy tremolo guitars and a quirky pop melody filled with swirling effects that happily float you away. The open hit hats and guitar scrapes of 'A Cure For the Inflicted Afflicted' sound like the start of a band kicking off a great energetic live set. Attention-grabbing riffs fill this song with a bit more edge than some of the other tracks and I dare you to try not to jam along with the outro solo complete with a wailing harmonica. It is bordering on the impossible.

Another highlight, 'Canyon of the Crescent Moon' showcases how well this band can write a gorgeous pop melody that sounds effortless but carries a lot of emotional weight. This is another track that is hard not to sing along with, and has a great unique mood at this point in the record. The almost ragtime-like walking bass piano riffs that fill 'Crawling Back to You' are perfectly matched with acoustic slide guitar twang. It shuffles along like a McCartney-penned Beatles tune from 'The White Album'. The last track, 'The Open Window' slows the pace down for an entrancing ethereal sonic journey filled with organs, sitars, tablas and heavily affected vocals to close the record. This is definitely a sunny record filled with 55 minutes of '60s pop hooks, modern recording magic and quality songwriting. Perfect motivation for starting out your day with some rocking positive vibes.

The Chemistry Set's website

'The Endless More & More' will be available through Fruits de Mer Records.

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