Friday, June 27, 2014

Tame Impala: Another Try

Earlier this month, on the last day of the Primavera Sound festival in Porto, we met a girl from Montana. She never told us her name so for the purposes of this blog post I'm simply going to refer to her, Zombieland-style, as 'Montana'.

Anyway, once we'd helped Montana to get on the right train at Casa da Música's metro station, the three of us started talking about music, and it quickly transpired that she was an avid Tame Impala fan. She spoke enthusiastically of their music, and of the time she met Kevin Parker (although she quickly conceded that this was a celebrity encounter that "only hardcore Tame fans" would find particularly impressive).

Now, it's always cool when someone is that into a band, but Tame Impala never really struck me as an act to obsess over. She was talking about Kevin the way some people talk about Benedict Cumberbatch, and it made me wonder if I'd been too quick to give up on TI.

See, I bought Innerspeaker - Tame Impala's debut album - a few years ago, mainly because I was under the impression that they sounded like The Flaming Lips. When I realised that they didn't sound much like The Flaming Lips at all, I quickly got bored and started looking elsewhere for my kicks.

But the encounter with Montana persuaded me to give Innerspeaker another try. I reasoned that Elephant* had been a pretty great song and so, by indie rock logic, their earlier stuff should actually be even better.

*The lead single from their second album, which was inescapable on 6Music in late 2012.

But I have to be honest - I popped Innerspeaker on in the car the other day, and it was just as unremarkable as I remember. I like It Is Not Meant to Be - in fact, I even caught myself singing along to the "in all honesty" bit - but after a couple of tracks, everything just blends into one. The album doesn't seem to begin or end; it just feels like a big, amorphous mass of boring '60s rock with occasional catchy bits.

I'm not a big fan of the sound, either. I think it's supposed to sound retro and/or psychedelic, but it just sounds bland, and it actually becomes quite grating over the course of an entire CD.

So yeah. Sorry Montana, but I've decided that Tame Impala are a band I enjoy in short bursts and short bursts only. Have a good weekend, everybody!

1 comment:

  1. Second albums much better, I love Feels Like We Only Go Backwards