And Now What For The Whatchamacallit

And Now What For The Whatchamacallit', by Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
And Now What For The Whatchamacallit', by Psychedelic Porn Crumpets

Our Rating

8.0

Can we just take a minute to marvel at this band’s absurdly brilliant name: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets (enthusiastic handclaps!). Evidently there is something in the water in Perth, Australia; this rich, fertile ground has produced Pond, Tame Impala and Methyl Ethel to name a few trippy acts that have come out of the city. ‘And Now What For The Whatchamacallit’ is Psychedelic Porn Crumpets’ third LP (following on from ‘High Visceral’ Parts 1 and 2), and with it the four piece have sidestepped the usual trappings of a psyche-rock record; no song breaches the five-minute mark. For a genre renowned for its elongated solos and chemically induced indulgences, ‘And Now What For The Whatchamacallit’ is lean and sometimes mean, in the way it navigates one of rock’s more garish sub-genres.

The inspiration behind the quartet’s new LP was to depict a 1930’s carnival but re-imagined for modern times; a visual and aural buffet of coconut shy’s, carousels and Punch and Judy shows but after the group started taking their own brand of raucous psyche-rock across the globe, the album morphed into a vision of their own touring fiesta; a blurred melange of foreign cities, wild parties and the overwhelming sensation of always being on the go. This feeling of constant stimulation emanates from ‘And Now What For The Whatchamacallit’ with a feverish glow, akin to a lava lamp being plugged into the national grid.

Starting as they mean to go on, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets kick off ‘And Now What For The Whatchamacallit’ with ‘Keen for Kick Ons’, a massive kaleidoscopic rock song that’s drenched in vivid colours and an everlasting groove. With an energised fizz, the band’s frontman, Jack McEwan sets the tone for the record with “3am/there’s fuel in the tank/I’m not ready to cool it yet”, acting like a mission statement of what’s to follow during this hedonistic odyssey. ‘Social Candy’, it would seem isn’t content with keeping matters within Earth’s orbit as McEwan can he heard bellowing “commence ignition for phase control”, as the track blasts off into outer space, propelled by a monstrous riff and a filthy stomp. Firmly back on terra firma, the haze of being on the road and whizzing through city after city is portrayed by ‘Dezi’s Adventure’; the LP’s closing track is where a weird mesh of sounds coalesce, like a chemically induced jam taking place just before the moment you crash out from a wild night of debauchery. The notion of woozy detachment from reality hasn’t escaped McEwan, as the band’s mouthpiece drawls “another day goes by without me thinking what to do”.

On ‘And Now What For The Whatchamacallit’, the Aussie hedonists have got the balance right between punchy rock tracks and the woozier end of the psyche spectrum. There’s ‘Hymn for a Droid’s distorted assault which has the foursome raging at full-tilt and then ‘Digital Hunger’s queasy, intricate improv jam. If you were to draw a Venn Diagram of psyche rock, post punk, jazz and post rock, this track would be the tiny dot right at the centre. ‘Native Tongue’ burrows deep into mind altering LSD hallucinations, whereas ‘When In Rome’s dirty strut, grinds with a sinister poise. It’s here where shades of paranoia start to pollute the warped tales of hedonism with McEwan murmuring “something ain’t right/I know it all too well.”

Ladies and gentlemen! Roll up, roll up, ‘And Now What For The Whatchamacallit’ is a carnival of garish adventures for the mind, body and soul.

Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams