Album Review: SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound / Psychedelic Porn Crumpets

As their name might suggest, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets’ fourth offering – SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound – is a mind-melting, forty-minute blur of ‘chemical enthusiasm’ to fuel your week-long bender. Having teased us with the release of lead-singles ‘Mr.Prism’ and ‘Tally-Ho’ back in 2020, the latest album features some of their most explosive material to date. 

With the Aussie lads off-the-road, a moment of respite and reflection has led to this creative whirlwind throwing us into the colourful chaos and intensity of touring. Fans may notice a step away from their ‘trippier’ sound enjoyed in the two-part 2016/17 debut album High Visceral which offered a medley of 60s tie-dye and drunken rock. 

“Blink and you’ll miss it” 

The opening line of ‘Big Dijon’ sets the tone for the album, offering just a taste of the exploratory blend of psych-pop, prog-rock, and heavy garage-riffs about to be unleashed. We gallop full-steam into the next few tracks and tumble down an avalanche of unstoppable sound. 

‘Mr. Prism’ is a particular highlight that explores Jack McEwan’s (lead guitarist and singer) experiences with a plethora of illnesses gained over the course of the tour. However, instead of dwelling on what could have been serious, he uses humor: “He tells me that I should probably quit smoking // Eighty bucks to hear that professional opinion”.

It’s an almost mocking line, perhaps exposing the limitations of private healthcare when exploring addiction. 

Halfway through ‘Glitterbug‘ provides a brief moment to catch your breath, with sparkling 70’s-esque vocals that echo the band’s previous work. This followed hastily by ‘More Glitter’, a quick interlude of shimmering melodies to summon up the energy needed to continue into the second onslaught of the album.

PPC seem to have elevated their ability to structure their tracks, intentionally adding a range of shorter instrumentals to heighten the effect of the next, as if each song is passing the baton in a relay sprint. 

McEwan has said ‘Pukebox’ was the first reference for the album’s direction; the heavy distortion and turbulent guitar melodies emphasizing the side effects of excessive consumption and attempting to recover from the madness thereafter. The album however ends with a feeling of sentiment: “Every old man tells me the same / Live while you’re young / Enjoy each day.”

This suggests that the fast-paced lifestyle is one the band wouldn’t change. Perhaps to listeners, it also encourages them to be present even through the difficult times faced in 2020 and personal battles in life.

In the frenzy that is SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound, whilst successful in creating a non-stop pounding force sending your body into an otherworldly experience, the relentless nature of touring it seeks to emulate can lean towards repetitiveness. Nevertheless, its mind-warping abilities make it an album not to be missed. 

Words by Annabel Britton

Image credit: CapturaObscura


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