7 Track, LP (2012, Independent)
From the sunburnt streets of Brisbane to April’s Austin Psych Fest, Dreamtime seem to be forging a solid path of pure psychedelia. With Sun, the group take off where most of their contemporaries get lost drifting ’round the mandala. Coming across like a bunch of longhairs straight out of Julian Cope’s Japrocksampler, via Queensland hinterland hippie-dom, the group sound intent on paying homage to the usual gods of all that is out there. The fuzz guitar, the chants, the general wig-outtedness is all there and it works. It works real well, in fact.
The music is also pretty damn tight, considering the genre the band worships. There are moments when you’d expect someone to go out of time or hit a dud note (maybe because if it happened, it wouldn’t totally feel out of place), but the fact that they keep it together with precision gives the music that much more purpose. This is finely tuned stuff and, if not for the crashing cymbals and sustained fuzz, a decent amount of the vocal tracks wouldn’t be out of place on an Appalachian field recording.
The most exciting thing about Dreamtime, especially on Sun, is where they’re going to take things next. Songs like ‘Baphomet’, with vocals leaning towards an almost country-like twang before a solid freak-out locked in with snare action, showcase the versatility of the group and justify the international interest. On ‘The Road’, with its heavily delayed solos and Bardo Pond-ish moans floating around in the background, again the listener is lured into a false sense of expectation or some kind of familiarity, like what a good pop hook might achieve. But pop this is not, and the research has definitely paid off for these psych scholars.
by Tim Fitzpatrick