(El Paraiso Records)
Well, here’s a turn-up. This ought to have been the album of my summer, but to be honest my summer was mostly occupied listening to a different band (called Carpet) and getting my arm medically torn off at the root. Consequently, Causa Sui’s new album managed to get past my music radar—a matchbox containing a dead woodlouse that I keep in my pocket—until last weekend. Which is a great pity, because Euporie Tide comes on like a cricket bat-sized Solero delivered directly to the back of the throat on the hottest day of the year.
Comparisons to the sprawling psychedelic krautrock of the early 1970s are both appropriate and inevitable, but let’s see if we Can avoid doing that, shall we? Instead, let’s look at this record as simply the latest offshoot of the thriving modern heavy psych scene, which owes as much to Sabbath and Kyuss as it does to Ash Ra Tempel.
What do you need to know about Euporie Tide? It’s fully instrumental. It is one hour long. It grooves. It swings. It writhes. It rocks. It rolls. It JAMS. And it riffs. Oh, how it riffs. All across its length, this record is bursting not to piss itself over its own building euphoria, its joyful momentum driven by the interplay of jazzy organ passages, lightning-hot, soaring guitar licks and a craggy, dusty, desert rock atmosphere. Big, wide drum grooves shuffle around the place giving you lovely soft cuddles, while the bass rumbles away warmly to itself in the corner of the sofa, only slightly covered in drool. It seeds bliss and positivity without ever saying a word for itself.
Opener Homage, for example, is one of the rarest of rare psychedelic treats; a song that is a trip in and of itself, continually folding outwards into new and subtly-embellished configurations. The addition of nothing more elaborate than the sixteenth-note shuffle of a shaken tambourine to complete the groove is enough to make you howl with joy. It’s built around a simple, anthemic, major-key riff, but it is orchestrated so beautifully, and progresses so unexpectedly, that by the time it finishes the first play you’ll be reaching for another just to confirm it was as good as you imagined. I was, anyway.
A clear highlight. But elsewhere on the record, we encounter a tension between wah-wah-wailing Hendrix-esque leads buttressed by foot-stomping hard rock organ swirls (Boozehound, Ju-Ju Blues, The Juice); and stoned jazz-fusion interludes that conjure thoughts of improbably beautiful European people riding bikes with baskets on the front, and which seem solely designed to soundtrack a clandestine cornfield fuck (Mireille, Echo Springs, Fischelscher Sun).
Nimbly slipping from one side of this equation to the other, Euporie Tide remains laid-back yet unpredictable without ever seeming totally outré.