For their third album proper The Soundcarriers have created their best effort to date, perfect introduction to the band, the summation of their talents thus far. It’s there for you if you liked Broadcast and Stereolab, Belle & Sebastien even, but there’s something a bit stronger, crisper in the way these tunes are cut from the sixties psychedelia backdrop, pasted into the browser of today. In that sense I think of Chungking, but again there’s a sharper cut, a smoother attack to these pieces – the drums so big on So Beguiled, but never in the way of a range of lovely keyboard sounds and those cool-charm girl-group type vocals.
Summery, sunshine vibes then, and even a subverted Bossa nova feel for Somewhere To Land, a bit spy movie-parody, a bit Guy Ritchie soundtrack.
Actually, Entropicalia reveals more with each track, it all starts off in a Record Collection Pop kinda way, possibly even a bit pleased with itself, despite the wonderful introduction of a nodding bass line for Low Light. From there the record makes more sense with each song, slowly, surely, determinedly carving out its own space. The percussive charm of The Outsider is the propulsive agent, it’s as if David Holmes got hold of some Sergio Mendes offcuts, but only after he’d smoked a bit of herb and had a quick catch-up with David Axelrod. The title track is like a more urgent Brunettes, the boy/girl vocal pushed through another spy film groove. Boiling Point is where the Tame Impala, or rather Melody’s Echo Chamber-type feel moves into position, lifting the Soundcarriers’ game up and away from just sixties-vibe sifters/space-shifters. And though they’ll go right back there for Somewhere To Land it’s from there that album really starts to show its full range of colours.
There’s the odd inclusion of Elijah Wood on the 12-minute This Is Normal, but as his poetry recitation sits towards the back end of a pulsing, probing, prodded VU-meets-Eno-driven-Talking Heads groove it’s really no stress as to whether you care for Wood’s inclusion. The music around his words is fantastic, some of the most mesmerising on the album.
And then the closing Effr feels like a wee coda, a fade-out conclusion; reminder that you’ve been whisked away to a very special world for the duration of this album. It’s a welcome trip.