Australia has been providing a whole host of psychedelic leaning bands of late, and with an ear for melody Cloud Control stand out amongst the ranks. They create sun blazed psychedelic pop, owing as much to the music coming out of the west coast of America through the 60s as they do to current musical trends. The band have made a name for themselves supporting bigger acts like the Foofighters, Arcade Fire and Weezer, and you can see why, their melodies are immediate but have a tendency to stick around in your head after the song has finished. They've also nabbed to Australian Music Prize (which is the Australian equivalent of the Mercury prize) for the debut album back in 2011 amongst a whole host of plaudits, so the expectations are high for their sophmore release, Dream Cave.
They relocated to the UK to put together the new album, gaining more studio time and even utilizing a 2000 year-old quarry for the perfect reverb. You can tell they've taken their time, each song sounds considered and ideas don't stick around any longer than they need to. Take Moonrabbit for example, on which the major key melodies and girl-boy harmonies rick get irritating, but the track has moves on before outstaying its welcome. This particular track also epitomises their not so subtle 60s worship which is evident throughout the record.
The laid back Dojo Rising rides along on cool drumbeat as lead vocalist Alister Wright repeats 'I don't want anything' with the loose slacker feel of American indie rock, while Promises has a 50s pop vibe with its 6/4 rhythm and displaying a creative use of backing vocals. Co-vocalist Heidi Lenffer takes the lead on The Smoke, The Feeling an unashamedly 80's pop track. Effected vocals soar over track's propellant drum beat and simple, shimmering guitar lines. The epic pop sound remains on Scar, which starts off with the sound of organ arpeggios. The song provides the album's biggest chorus, powered along by a solid drum beat and distorted guitars, its hard to not imagine it going over well in a live performance.
Their sound can come across as being a bit light at times, tracks like Happy Birthday seem to slip by without ever taking hold. Still, they change things up near the end with the slower tempo and darker feel of Tombstone, allowing space for some huge echo to wash over the track amongst a great little warped guitar solo.
They may not as dedicated to recreating an era as other psych rock pedallers like Tame Impala, instead Cloud Control sound modern whilst keeping sonic reference points intact. Maybe their not as offbeat as other groups drawing on similar sounds but Cloud Control have crafted their on sound, with the kind of effortless pop hooks and uncluttered songwriting that could easily lead to them being the stadium headliners in the near future.
Originally posted on figure8magazine.co.uk.