Keys: Bring Me the Head of Jerry Garcia

Delicious Welsh psych rock

Having risen from the embers of the Welsh indie-rock band Murray the Hump, Keys has now developed into a powerhouse neo-psych band. They punch up their Fillmore-ready jams and Pink Floyd-ish sound explorations with Cream- and Stooges-level power riffing, and on “You Wear the Loveliest Gowns” add a melody line and harmony vocals that, surprisingly, suggest Jan & Dean. Fans of Green on Red’s first album, the Beatles’ mid-period psychedelia, the freakouts of Red Krayola and other ‘60s touchstones will find a lot to like here. Recorded live, the sound is more overtly psychedelic than the band’s earlier catalog, the lyrics more impressionistic, and the performances punchier. Matthew Berry perches his slinky sing-song vocal delicately atop the heavy riffage of  “Black and White,” with drummer Dave Newington and guitarist Gwion Ap Siôn Rowlands locked together before the latter’s axe explodes in a wah-wah frenzy; Rowlands later takes a wonderfully wandering solo on the closing “Broken Bones.” The band has apparently been playing this material live for years, and recorded in an abandoned cinema without overdubs, the album resounds both artistically and aurally. This is a treat for lovers of muscular, melodic psych. [©2020 Hyperbolium] 

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