With The Green Tambourine Band getting ready to release their upcoming second album Sundazed we thought it might be a good time to take a little look back at the first album ...Let Yourself Be / Aum.
Below we have included 3 reviews of the album.
Check back tomorrow for the rest of our retrospective.
Dayz of Purple and Orange Blog - ''After hearing a track or two on the ever-reliable Active Listener samplers, I recently decided to investigate The Green Tambourine Band a bit further and so downloaded ‘Let Yourself Be / Aum’ from the Active Listener site…..and bloody glad I did.
The Green Tambourine Band ( I assume the name is a reference to the ‘Lemon Pipers’ track?) are four blokes from Edinburgh who, in the spirit of authenticity, use vintage gear when brewing up their psychedelic treats, and treats they are.
The LP is nominally ten tracks long, but is split into 2 distinct suites (and to this end the download handily provides the tracks separately but also as the two halves – fab idea).
To the music; the first half – the ‘Let Yourself Be’ half – is beautifully jangly late sixties psychedelic pop. Touches of the Beatles can be heard, as well as material that would not sound out of place on the ‘Highs In The Mid-Sixties’ comps. According to the Active Listener site, the first half encourages “the purity of living life in the moment” and it does have a life affirming charm about it. The band showcase their lyrical skills on this side, with motifs, both lyrical and musical, running throughout the side – lovely stuff.
The second half – ‘Aum’ – is a different kettle of fish – it crosses the tracks to the freakier side of town. ‘Aum’ “represents the beginning of the universe, the world now, and the destruction and rebirth of a funky new world in its three interconnected parts.” – heady stuff indeed. The three tracks have the conceptual, symphonic feel about them and are definitely best heard as a whole. It flows as a piece from more freaky psych to acid folk before culminating in the two coming together.
The album as a whole is a wonderful piece of psych, both evocative of the past and looking to the future. I really, really enjoyed this!''
Soundblab.com - ''No, it’s not a Lemon Pipers reunion, and those aren’t the titles of their latest single. This Edinburgh quartet have decided to divide their debut album into two distinct sides to illustrate their varied sound. The mixture of mellow, Velvets/Beatlesque pop-psych on side one and funky, Madchester psych on the three-part, side-long flip can be traced back to the disjointed sounds produced by their namesakes, particularly their own epics, ‘Through With You’ and ‘Dead End Street/Half Light’. [And there is a bit of a British connection to their name, seeing as the Piper’s guitarist, Bill Bartlett was born in South Harrow; he later struck pay-dirt with Ram Jam’s cover of Lead Belly’s ‘Black Betty’.]
But to the album at hand. The dreamy, jangle-pop opener ‘You Are the One That I Love to Love’ fills your ears with groovy organ, stoned harmonies, and heavily treated guitars. You can almost smell the patchouli in the air.
Flutes, gently rolling waves, dirgy drums, and chanting vocals (repeating the previous track’s title as its only lyric) help ‘From the Seed into the Flower’ grow inside your brain like a serpentining vine, creating a sense of deja vu not uncommon in drug-induced states of euphoria. ‘I’m Free’ incorporates Lennon’s 'Free As a Bird' lyric into another jangly hallucination, not unlike vintage Brian Jonestown Massacre, Spacemen 3, and Warlocks, while sitars add another glassy-eyed effect to ‘I Want You to Be’, which borrows heavily from Harrison’s organic Eastern explorations.
The brief instrumental ‘Lemon Sorbet’ melds sitars and organs for a free ride to innerspace and should have been developed further. This sorbet melts a little too quickly.
‘Here She Comes’ tears a few pages out of the mellow chapters of Lou Reed’s songbook (‘Sunday Morning’, ‘The Gift’, ‘Coney Island Baby’, ‘I’m Set Free’, et al), and ‘Through the Looking Glass’ assembles backwards guitars and electronics for a palate-cleansing instrumental wrap-up to your first trip.
But the real adventure lies in wait on the 16-minute flip, ‘Aum’. ‘Part A’ is a totally wigged-out psychedelic jam which tosses Screamadelica, Happy Mondays, and The Stone Roses into a blender, mixes in a little bongwater, and bakes it all into the kind of mind-melding stew these brain cells haven’t enjoyed in years. Good on ya, lads.
‘Part U’ returns to Harrison’s mellow, Eastern-tinged atmospherics, with tablas and other percussive effects creating a natural high, while closer (Part M) develops a rather funky, soulful strut not unlike the psychedelic soul of The Temptations, ca Cloud Nine. Add some sitars, tambourines (green or otherwise), and a few psychobabble parting words, and your trip is complete.''
Psychedelic Obscurities Blog - ''Another batch of reconstituted 60's psychedelic pop vibes as they hear them in Scotland. This basically functions as two EPs, the first of which includes several hazy, jangling poppers, while the flip side is more of a noise-fest freak out. The former is pretty impressive, coming across like a more chilled out Brian Jonestown Massacre or a more folkish Moles (Richard Davies; Australia; just throwing out a few sign posts for you). As for the latter half, it definitely has its moments, but I don't think the Green Tambourine Band ever earned its license to jam. I mean, few rock bands have that license anyway - I guess Can and Yo La Tengo would be on the short list.
Again, the first half of the album really delves into the heart of 60's production sounds and songwriting - with just a touch of outsider oddness from the Scottish highlands
. "You Are the One I Love," "I'm Free," and "Here She Comes" definitely earn a place on the radio of the cosmos, even if I'm pretty sure all those song titles have been used before. "Lemon Sorbet" and "Through the Looking Glass" cover the more experimental grounds, with "Looking Glass" as the clear winner with it's twirling backward guitar vibrations.
The "Aum" suite didn't do it for me quite as much, featuring too many sections of plodding groove and wah-wah rhythm guitar - I would suggest that the band focus on their enviable songwriting instead.
So, get into this for the first half. It spotlights the Green Tambourine Band at their psychedelic, folk-rokin' best is sure to get a few new tune hardwired into your head.''